CINCINNATI—A new study from the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine has found that, when delivered via ultrasound, the natural enzyme plasmin is more effective at dissolving stroke-causing clots than the standard of care, recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA).
The novel delivery method involved trapping plasmin into bubble-like liposomes, delivering them to the clot intravenously and bursting it via ultrasound. That method is necessary, says UC associate professor of emergency medicine George "Chip” Shaw III, MD, PhD, because plasmin cannot be delivered through traditional methods. Intravenous delivery of rt-PA is designed to solve that problem by catalyzing the conversion of existing plasminogen inside the body to plasmin, which in turn degrades blood clots.
"Plasmin is the enzyme that actually chews up the fibrin in clots,” says Shaw. "The problem is you can only give plasmin inter-arterially, which has safety risks and takes longer to deliver. IV therapy is always easier and quicker, but if you give plasmin intravenously, the body inhibits it immediately. If you can encapsulate it, it doesn’t get inhibited and you can target it to the clot.”
Thanks UC and Sonoworld