University HealthCare Alliance

February 18, 2020

Inside Stanford Medicine | Nanotherapy Reduces Plaque Buildup in Mouse Arteries

Stanford researchers have found that drug-coated nanoparticles limit the development of atherosclerosis in mice, without side effects.

A drug-coated nanoparticle reduces plaque buildup in mouse arteries without causing harmful side effects, Stanford School of Medicine researchers have found.

Atherosclerosis, the accumulation of plaque inside artery walls, can lead to heart attacks and strokes. It’s the world’s No. 1 killer. Available therapies treat risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol but fail to address the accumulation of diseased cells and inflammation within artery walls.

“This is precision medicine,” said Nicholas Leeper, MD, professor of vascular surgery and cardiovascular medicine. “We used the nanotubes to deliver a payload like a Trojan horse.”

Leeper, who sees patients at Stanford Health Care’s vascular and endovascular care clinic, is a senior author of a paper about the research that was published Jan. 27 in Nature Nanotechnology. The other senior author is Bryan Smith, PhD, a former visiting associate professor at the School of Medicine. He is now an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Michigan State University.

Alyssa Flores, a former research fellow who is now a student at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College, and Stanford postdoctoral scholars Niloufar Hosseini-Nassab, PhD, and Kai-Uwe Jarr, PhD, are co-lead authors. 

Read more