The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, is funneling $1.3 million to researchers at the University of Michigan to see if they can use nanoparticles to transform the way morphine is used for pain relief on the battlefield. James R. Baker Jr., director of the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences, said that the university project "uses different medicines coupled to polymers to release drugs and antidotes to provide adequate pain relief while avoiding complications. If successful, it could markedly improve the treatment of soldiers in the field." The therapy would be delivered in a pen-like device that could be employed by anyone, rather than the trained personnel that are needed to dispense morphine. The nanoparticles would be needed to for timed delivery of the drug and for monitoring a patient's breathing so that Naloxone can be released to counter the effects of morphine on breathing.
- read the article on the project from Forbes
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