The drug nimodipine, for example, could prevent nerve cells from dying after brain surgery. Health providers already use it to treat cerebral hemorrhages, but it degrades very quickly and has undesirable side effects when delivered intravenously, according to the research team out of Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and University Hospital Halle.
“The neurosurgeons wanted the drug to be applied locally in order to reduce potential side effects,” said professor Karsten Mäder from the Institute of Pharmacy at MLU.
Mäder and his colleagues turned to PLGA, a biodegradable polymer commonly used in medtech, and incorporating nimodipine into the polymer matrix. They developed a method of electrospinning the material into mats made of fibers only 1 to 2 μm thick.