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New research shows nanotech nitric oxide can treat acne

By Deanna Utroske

16-Jul-2015
Last updated on 16-Jul-2015 at 18:24 GMT2015-07-16T18:24:26Z

New research shows nanotech nitric oxide can treat acne

By putting recognized slow-release nanotechnology to use in a new way, scientists have shown that nitric oxide can address the two causative factors of this prevalent skin condition.

Researchers from several universities in the US, including George Washington University in Washington DC; Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York; and the University of California Los Angeles, collaborated on the studies that led to this week’s posting of an exploration of their finding on the Journal of Investigative Dermatology site as, Nitric Oxide Releasing Nanoparticles Prevent Propionibacterium acnes Induced Inflammation by both Clearing the Organism and Inhibiting Microbial Stimulation of the Innate Immune Response. 

Initial question
The premise for the research project is simply this: bacteria and inflammation result in, therefore, as the paper abstract states, “therapeutics targeting both the stimulus and the cascade would be ideal.”

Nitric oxide suggests itself, though under ordinary circumstances, nearly as soon as the body produces it, it becomes inactive. So, researchers sought both to test the efficacy of nitric oxide as a treatment and to find a delivery mechanism that would allow active oxide to be supplied with a regularity that could combat acne’s causative factors.

“In this paper, we provide an effective way to  kill the bacterium that serves as a stimulus for Acne without using an antibiotic, and demonstrate the means by which nitric oxide inhibits newly recognized pathways central to the formation of a pimple,  present in the skin even before you can see the acne.” Adam Friedman, associate professor of dermatology at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences and co-author of the study tells the press. 

What works
A combination of the nitric oxide and slow-release nanotechnology seems to be a new treatment option, based on the research team’s findings.

“Nitric oxide (NO), a potent biological messenger, has documented broad-spectrum antimicrobial and immunomodulatory properties. To harness these characteristics to target acne, we utilized an established nanotechnology capable of generating/releasing nitric oxide over time,” they explain in the abstract. 

Go-to-market skin care
Novel technologies are often explored for their potential to treat skin issues like acne. In recent months, researchers and companies have touted the benefits of at-home LED light treatments and liquid antibiotics designed for wounded skin, among others. 

Though as Friedman points out, “Many current medications focus only on one or two part of [the acne development] process.”

His team’s new tactic differs in that, “by killing the bacterium and blocking multiple components of the inflammasome, this approach may lead to better treatment options for acne sufferers, and possibly treatments for other inflammatory skin conditions.”

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