Nanotechnology is the manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale. It is the engineering of functional systems at the molecular level. A typical carbon-carbon bond lengths, or the spacing between these atoms in a molecule, are in the range 0.12–0.15 nm. A DNA double-helix has a diameter around 2 nm.
Ischaemic stroke occurs when a large-enough clot blocks one or more main arteries in the brain. The clot, at the molecular level, is composed of cells (red cells, white cells, platelets) attached together with bridges of protein called fibrin.
Currently, we use different drugs (tPA, etc) to break down those bridges and allow the blood to flow again into the brain. The problem is that this drug needs to be delivered to the area via a catheter, and that the same drug is able to dissolve good clots that usually form to repair damages in the artery wall.
Our team at ASPH, Royal Holloway University of London, and Imperial College London are exploring completely new ways of delivering this action without the after mentioned issues. This is a very exciting opportunity that emerged from joining forces between scientists and surgeons and we believe we will be able to change completely the way this therapy is delivered. Just watch the space..