Research ArticleNanomedicine

Liposome-supported peritoneal dialysis for detoxification of drugs and endogenous metabolites

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Science Translational Medicine  15 Oct 2014:
Vol. 6, Issue 258, pp. 258ra141
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3009135

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Detoxing with Nanoparticles

Drug overdose can be life-threatening. Charcoal represents a broad antidote for drug intoxication, but has many limitations, including a narrow window of application. There has been a dearth of new, broad-spectrum treatments for drug overdose, with other antidotes being specific for certain drugs and poisons. Forster et al. developed a liposome-based peritoneal dialysis (PD) medium that sequesters ionizable compounds for removal from the body. The nanoparticles were filled with either a basic or acidic solution, thus creating a pH gradient across the membrane; acidic or basic small-molecule compounds would then concentrate in the respective particles’ cores. The authors demonstrated that liposomal PD rescued rats that had overdosed on verapamil, a heart drug that is frequently overdosed in patients, yet has no antidote. Other acidic and basic drugs associated with intoxication as well as endogenous metabolites associated with rare metabolic disorders were removed from rats via liposomes, demonstrating broad applicability in detoxification. Liposomal PD could therefore be a viable and simple alternative to intravenous toxin removal in emergency medicine.

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