RAMOT at Tel Aviv University Ltd.

Optimization of Myocardial Tissue Repair and Regeneration with Iron-oxide Nanoparticles Formulated in Macrophage-Targeted Carriers

Posted by RAMOT at Tel Aviv University Ltd.Responsive · Innovative Products and Technologies · Israel

Summary of the technology

Myocardial infarction and the subsequent development of heart failure remains one of
the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the western world. One major new
direction for treatment involves optimizing infarct healing and reducing infarct
expansion, by controlling early and late inflammation after myocardial infarction and
heart failure. Said control implemented through specific manipulations of macrophages
- pivotal cells in the onset and progression of inflammation.
We are developing a novel conceptual approach, supported by encouraging preliminary
data. This approach combines: (i) the application of novel therapeutic agents – iron oxide
nano particles and (ii) their selective delivery to macrophages (the target cells) by
enclosing these nano particles within special macrophage-targeted carriers.
Project ID : 2-2011-272

The Technology

A novel approach for the treatment of AMI has been developed using IONPs. IONPs, when injected into the infarcted myocardium, lead to improved heart function after MI. IONPs activate anti-inflammatory macrophages and thus promote tissue healing and repair and prevent myocardial remodeling and dysfunction.


Macrophages control the initiation, maintenance and resolution of inflammation. One of the earliest phases after MI involves acute inflammation leading to fibrosis and scar formation. Macrophages are essential for infarct healing and repair. Some macrophages exhibit a pro-inflammatory cytokine profile (M1 polarization), whereas others show an anti-inflammatory profile and tissue repair activity (M2 polarization). IONPs are used to label and track inflammatory and stem cells by MRI and are considered the most sensitive existing markers for cell labeling using MRI. They are nontoxic and biodegradable and do not affect proliferation and multi-lineage differentiation capacity in vitro.

The Need and Potential Application

IONPs can be used to treat AMI and other inflammatory conditions associated with pro-inflammatory activated macrophages and to promote tissue healing and repair.



FDA approved for use in MRI imaging in humans

Off –the-shelf

Drug repositioning pathway

Stage of Development

In vivo studies in mouse and rat models of MI and heart failure have demonstrated that IONPs switch infarct macrophages from pro-inflammatory (M1) to reparative (M2) phenotype and improve remodeling and function after MI in mouse



Project manager

Elisha Natan
Director BD

Project researchers

Rimona Margalit
T.A.U Tel Aviv University, Life Sciences
The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Jonathan Leor
T.A.U Tel Aviv University, Medicine-Sackler Faculty
Neufeld Cardiac Res Inst.-Sheba

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About RAMOT at Tel Aviv University Ltd.

Technology Transfer Office from Israel

Ramot is Tel Aviv University's (TAU) technology transfer company and its liaison to industry, bringing promising scientific discoveries made at

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