We have battled the microscopic parasite that causes malaria since the first humans walked the Earth. Today, the affliction infects hundreds of millions of people around the world and is responsible for killing hundreds of thousands of children. There has been a consistent global effort to reduce the prevalence of the disease, but the hardy microbe continues to thrive and visitors to malarial hot zones have continued to rise. The best prevention of malaria is from oral dosing of antimalarial tablets on a strictly adhered schedule. And the side effects aren’t too pleasant!
But a recently published study led by Pharmacologist Professor Andrew Owen and Materials Chemist Professor Steve Rannard wants to use nanotechnology to improve how an existing antimalarial drug is administered that would be injected into the patient as a single dose and maintain a blood concentration of the drug over a course of weeks or months. The injectable nanotechnology would be just 1/5000th the width of a human hair and injected into the muscle where it would establish itself and release the drug into the bloodstream slowly over an extended period of time.
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