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Bioengineered nanoparticles for fibrinogen manufacture

A new type of reagent has high selectivity for human fibrinogen and this will help those with bleeding disorders.

Image by Zherebetskyy - Using Vesta visualisation software plotted the developed model similar to the Science paper, CC BY-SA 3.0
Image by Zherebetskyy - Using Vesta visualisation software plotted the developed model similar to the Science paper, CC BY-SA 3.0

Fibrinogen is a key protein for blood coagulation. Some people suffer from fibrinogen disorders relating to the quantity or quality of fibrinogen. The diseases arising cause pathological bleeding, pathological blood clotting, or the deposition of fibrinogen in the liver, kidneys, and other tissues.

To address these issues, fibrinogen is often given to patients who experience heavy bleeding, like trauma patients. However, the fibrinogen concentrate that can be given to a patient is crude and involves a complicated purification process to be free of impurities and disease-causing pathogens.

Addressing the need for better manufacturing processes, researchers from China and California have collaborated to engineer a nanoparticle polymer that can selectively bind to fibrinogen in human plasma, presenting a pathway for improved drug development. This is based on the use of nanotechnology to create fibrinogen concentrate.

This is based on a new type of reagent that has high selectivity for human fibrinogen. Moreover, the reagent is more specific than biologic reagents, and it can be produced at a relatively low cost. The aim is to harness the technology to foster the availability of inexpensive fibrinogen concentrate for medical use.

For this breakthrough, researchers from the University of California and Xi’an Jiaotong University, China, engineered a novel polymeric nanoparticle that can act as a protein affinity reagent, with selective affinity for human fibrinogen.

A nanoparticle is a small particle that ranges between 1 to 100 nanometres in size. They can be biological or non-biological. In recent years, these materials have emerged as important area of medical research, primarily for drug delivery but also for other applications.

The nanoparticles were fabricated using temperature-sensitive N-isopropyl acrylamide (NIPAm) and L-amino acid monomers. These polymerized forms of amino acids have strong protein binding affinity. The research showed by adjusting the formulation of a hydrogel through the introduction of the polymers boosted the protein binding affinity of the gel.

The non-biological nature of the nanoparticles as protein affinity reagents appear to be more robust and economic to manufacture compared with biological reagents, as measured by binding capacity.

The study is expected to lead to further research into [email protected] as a fibrinogen-specific affinity reagent that could be used for drug manufacture.

The research findings for this pathway for improved drug development are published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Analysis. The research is titled “Engineered polymer nanoparticles incorporating L-amino acid groups as affinity reagents for fibrinogen.”

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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