Nanomedicine the use of nanoparticles to treat acute traumatic spinal cord injuries


  • Peola Jayne Ellis University of Ottawa


Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are difficult to treat without using invasive methods that are not always precise or efficient. Traditional methods used to treat SCIs often involve targeting a broad area that is in close proximity to the specific locality of the injury as opposed to, direct targeting. Recent studies suggest the use of nanoparticles are a viable way to treat SCIs. Nanoparticles are nanotechnological devices that operate at 1x 10-9m, which is equivalent to one nanometer (nm). Nanoparticles target an assigned area with a high degree of specificity, thus ensuring that the affected area is treated with maximum proficiency. This article will explore the properties of silica nanoparticles, polymer nanoparticles and chondroitinase ABC (chABC) releasing nanoparticles to determine if they are appropriate to treat acute traumatic spinal cord injuries (tSCIs). A review of the literature suggests that the use of silica nanoparticles is a more plausible way to treat SCIs in comparison to polymer nanoparticles due to its zero-order drug release property. The application of silica nanoparticles ensures that the drug is released in the affected area in order to degrade damaged nerve tissue. In addition, chABC releasing nanoparticles show promising results in treating SCIs due to their ability to remove GAGs and promote nerve regeneration potentially, decreasing the healing time of an SCI. Overall, the application of nanoparticles provides a plausible non-invasive treatment method for SCIs. However, further research needs to be done in order to propagate the potential treatment applications of nanoparticles and human SCIs.