Cutaneous application of nanoparticles may offer a new means of delivering drugs to treat erectile dysfunction (ED), according to findings presented at the 104th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA). Topical treatments for ED may offer localized therapeutic results with the benefit of lower dosage and the avoidance of adverse side effects due to systemic absorption.
Researchers in New York investigated a novel hybrid hydrogel/glass nanoparticle platform. They developed nanoparticles capable of sustained release of therapeutic levels of nitric oxide (NO), which aids in erection biology and relaxes smooth muscle cells in the penis. Researchers applied these nanoparticles to the skin of the penis of seven rats, and measured erectile response by intracorporal pressure/blood pressure (ICP/BP) ratio. Of the seven animals treated with NO releasing nanoparticles, five experienced positive effects on the ICP/BC, resulting in a visible erection. The average time for an erectile response was approximately 65 minutes.
"This is a very interesting concept which has potential to impact treatment of many conditions including erectile dysfunction if it can be translated from the animal lab to clinical practice, " said Ira D. Sharlip, MD, an AUA spokesman. "It remains to be seen whether the effect of the nanoparticle technology is a local or a systemic effect."
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