Leveraging Shear Stress to Bust Clots with Nanoparticles

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Science  10 Aug 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6095, pp. 658-659
DOI: 10.1126/science.1227097

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In 1987, the first clinical trial of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) for the treatment of acute stroke commenced and led to U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in 1996 (1). tPA is used as soon after the stroke as possible, within the first 4 hours, to dissolve clots and restore blood flow. It has revolutionized treatment of strokes, heart attacks, and pulmonary embolisms; however, it is not without risk. On page 738 in this issue, Korin et al. (2) describe a method they have developed for targeting tPA to clots to reduce the side effects while restoring blood flow.