A fast and safe treatment for patients with stroke
Stroke medication that can be administered immediately by paramedics on-site, that is what I hope to achieve with our research. Save lives and prevent permanent brain damage!
Paralysis, speech impairment and even death; these can be the consequences of a stroke. In case of stroke, every second counts! The longer the brain is deprived of oxygen, the more sever the consequences are. However, for patients with stroke, treatment can only start after a diagnosis is confirmed. With my research, I aim to change that.
Different causes, Different treatment
Stroke is a collective name for two diseases, ischemic stroke and haemorrhagic stroke. The same symptoms, but a completely causes. In ischemic stroke, an artery is blocked by a blot clot and rapid treatment with clot-dissolving drugs, so-called thrombolytics, is required. A haemorrhagic stroke however, is caused a ruptured blood vessel in the brain. For patients with haemorrhagic stroke, thrombolytics are detrimental, as they aggravate the bleeding and increase the risk of death.
No more waiting
Currently, treatment of stroke can only start after the diagnosis is confirmed by a CT-scan, made in the hospital. We aim to cut out this waiting period and start treatment straight away. This means that patients will be treated 1 to 4 hours faster!
Super quick and super safe
We are working on medication that can be administered immediately: thrombolytic drugs will be encapsulated inside ‘smart’ nanoparticles. These nanoparticles are locked. During ischemic stroke, small but specific molecules are released into the bloodstream that are not released during haemorrhagic stroke. These molecules will open the lock and release the thrombolytic drugs, providing instant treatment for ischemic stroke. In patients with haemorrhagic stroke, the nanoparticles will stay locked.
Not just for stroke
If we succeed, similar nanoparticles can be developed that are specific for other conditions, including haemorrhagic stroke, but also myocardial infarction and pulmonary embolisms.
This research is executed in collaboration with researchers at Delft University of Technology.