July 25, 2013
Laser-Controlled Molecular Switch Turns Blood Clotting On, Off On Command
Selective release of DNA from gold nanorods switches blood clotting on and off
Researchers have designed tiny, light-controlled gold particles that can release DNA controls to switch blood clotting off and on. The results are reported July 24 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Kimberly Hamad-Schifferli and colleagues from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Natural blood clotting is precisely synchronized to occur at the right time and place. Wound healing, surgery and other conditions require manipulation of this process, typically through the use of anticoagulants like heparin or warfarin. However, these drugs are inherently one-sided as they can only block clotting, and reversing their effects depends on removing them from the bloodstream. The methods described in this research open up new possibilities for more precise, selective control of the blood clotting process during therapy.
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