Established in 2020 Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Treating infertility with drug-delivering microspheres
Tiny, droplet-like packages can deliver drugs that thicken the lining of the uterus to treat infertility. Image courtesy: Adapted from ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering 2021, DOI: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.1c00615.

WASHINGTON, DC.- For an embryo to survive, it must attach to the lining of the uterus within days of conception. However, if this lining, called the endometrium, is too thin, the embryo can’t latch on. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering have developed a new system intended to treat infertility in women with thin endometria. Their tiny, micro-scale particles stimulated blood vessel growth, producing promising results in preliminary experiments in cells and mice.

Poor blood flow within the endometrium limits its thickness, and researchers have struggled to find an effective way to encourage the formation of new blood vessels. Some have begun exploring the use of microspheres to deliver treatment. However, current methods for making these tiny particles face challenges, including the need for complex, demanding production methods and too much variation in the sizes of the spheres. So, Xiangguo Wang, Lei Yang and their colleagues wanted to devise a simple, efficient technique for manufacturing uniform microspheres loaded with a compound known to be a potent stimulator of blood vessel growth.

To formulate their tiny particles, the researchers looked to hyaluronic acid, a substance known to contribute to the growth of the endometrium. Using a method called electrospray, they generated hyaluronic acid-containing droplets that were all very similar in size, about 400 µm in diameter. They then collected the droplets and stuck them together with an ultraviolet light treatment. By manipulating the composition of the spheres, the researchers found they could alter their ability to take up and release drugs. They then loaded the particles up with their second active ingredient: the blood vessel-promoting compound called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). In experiments with female mice with thin endometria, they found that microspheres containing only the hyaluronic acid produced some thickening of the tissue compared to the control, but VEGF-carrying spheres generated the most thickening. While promising, this system needs further safety testing, note the researchers. They add that limits on the spheres’ drug releasing ability may make multiple treatments necessary for fertility patients.

The authors acknowledge funding the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangxi Province, National Key R&D Program of China, Beijing Dairy Cattle Industry Innovation Team project, and Outstanding Young Talent Project of Beijing Municipal Party Committee Organization Department.

Today's News

September 19, 2021

Ancient DNA rewrites early Japanese history-modern day populations have tripartite genetic origin

Moderna Covid vaccine edges Pfizer in new US research

Effect of electrons with negative mass in novel semiconductor nanostructures

AugLimb: A compact robotic limb to support humans during everyday activities

Lessons from how bats resist COVID could inform new treatments in humans

This is what it looks like when a black hole snacks on a star

What if just one airborne particle was enough to infect you?

Convalescent plasma doesn't help severely ill COVID-19 patients, Canadian study shows

Treating infertility with drug-delivering microspheres

How climate change could impact algae in the global ocean

Animals died in 'toxic soup' during Earth's worst mass extinction: A warning for today

Plants evolved complexity in two bursts-with a 250-million-year hiatus

Iceland's volcanic eruption the longest in half a century

Australian wildfires triggered massive algal blooms in southern ocean

The dynamic tracking of tissue-specific secretory proteins

Yeast and bacteria together biosynthesize plant hormones for weed control


Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the ResearchNews newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful