The research was carried out by several US universities, and used mice affected by atherosclerosis, the process that leads to the build-up of plaques in artery walls.
The researchers identified a protein called annexin A1, which is released by the body when it attempts to repair these plaques and covered a section of this protein with a special type of nanoparticle. This was then used to aid the plaque repair with promising results.
Researchers have now planned tests on pigs and primates, and if these are successful they are likely to follow up with human trials.
In the meantime, the best way to avoid atherosclerosis is of course to have a healthy lifestyle, including maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking and getting plenty of exercise.
1 Fredman G, Kamaly N, Spolitu S, et al. Targeted nanoparticles containing the proresolving peptide Ac2-26 protect against advanced atherosclerosis in hypercholesterolemic mice. Science Translational Medicine. Published online February 18 2015
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