'Nanomedicine': Potentially revolutionary class of drugs are made-in-Canada

CTV News – It's rare for researchers to discover a new class of drugs, but a University of Calgary microbiology professor recently did so -- by accident – and now hopes to revolutionize autoimmune disease treatment.

In 2004, Dr. Pere Santamaria and his research lab team at the Cumming School of Medicine conducted an experiment to image a mouse pancreas, using nanoparticles coated in pancreatic proteins.

The work didn’t go as planned.

“Our experiment was a complete failure,” he recently told CTV Calgary. “We were actually quite depressed, frustrated about the outcome of that.”

But the team was surprised to discover the nanoparticles had a major effect on the mice: resetting their immune systems.

The team realized that, by using nanoparticles, they can deliver disease-specific proteins to white blood cells, which will then go on to reprogram the cells to actively suppress the disease.

Read more at CTV News.

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