Drug delivery and other equipment (including kidney dialysis machines) Technology Offers

Centre Technology Transfer CITTRU posted this:

Heparin has many clinical applications due to potent activity for inhibition of blood clotting. Heparin is a drug of choice when quick anticoagulant effect is required, e.g. during surgical procedures, and especially to prevent clotting of blood in devices for extracorporeal therapy, like dialysers and cardiopulmonary bypasses. The use of heparin carries a risk of serious side-effects, among of which bleedings, thrombocytopenia and osteoporosis are most frequent. Due to the side-effects heparin should be removed from the bloodstream as soon as the anticoagulant effect is no longer needed. The most common method is administration of protamine, a small protein that is a heparin antagonist. Another polymer used to inactivate heparin is poly-L-lysine, also applied to enhance the effect of protamine. Moreover, heparin can be neutralised by enzymatic degradation with immobilised heparinase. However, the current methods of heparin removal themselves can produce side-effects. For example, as many as 10% of patients suffer from unwanted reactions caused by protamine that can have severe consequences, including fatal events. Among the side-effects there are: pulmonary hypertension, arterial hypertension, anaphylactic crisis, thrombocytopenia, granulocytopenia, complement activation and release of cytokines. Furthermore, protamine-induced heparin neutralisation is incomplete and followed by allergic reaction. Poly-L-lysine, on the other hand, is a relatively expensive polymer.