Nanogels for suppressing the effect of pro-inflammatory enzymes

Despite significant and progressive advances in medicine, the global incidence of inflammatory pancreatic disease shows that this disease remains one of the most serious health problems worldwide. The pancreas has exocrine and endocrine functions, of which the exocrine function serves to secrete digestive enzymes such as trypsin into the intestine. Trypsin belongs to the group of serine proteases and is secreted by the pancreas in an inactive form known as trypsinogen with subsequent activation in the duodenum. Premature activation of trypsinogen in the acinar cells of the pancreas causes an inflammatory process that causes pancreatitis and damage to the pankreas.

Now a team of scientists from the IMC, which includes Dr. Petr Šálek from the Department of Biomaterials and Bioanalogous Systems, is working on the development of a nanogel depot (hydrophilic nanoparticles) based on synthetic polyamino acids (polyglutamine), which helped suppress inflammation caused by serine proteases. The results of the new study were published in the Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology. “The newly designed hydrophilic moieties contain naturally-occurring inflammatory mediator inhibitors (alpha-1-antitrypsin) to suppress the pathological effect of serine prostheses including trypsin, which also occurs naturally in the human body. Under certain conditions, these can cause a variety of serious health complications, including inflammation of the pancreas," explains Dr. Petr Šálek. To characterize the prepared nanogels, the scientists used a variety of special devices and methodologies, including electron microscopes, dynamic light scattering and flow fractionation in the force field of an asymmetric flow.


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