Defense agency funds research into nano pain relief

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Sept. 3, 2007

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Powerful analgesics may some day be delivered by multipurpose nanoparticles that carry morphine, monitor the respiratory effects of this drug, and, if needed, deliver an antidote, according to a statement issued in July by the University of Michigan.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded $1.3 million to this institution to develop this technology to improve battlefield wound care.

"If successful, it could markedly improve the treatment of soldiers in the field," said James R. Baker Jr., MD, research team leader and director of the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences.

The goal is to develop particles that could be delivered by a pen-like device until the wounded patient can obtain more traditional health care. The technology could also eliminate the need for medical personnel on the battlefield to monitor a patient's breathing if morphine is injected.

This first round of funding will be used to design these nanoparticles and test them in vitro.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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