New Delhi: Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, have developed a new chemical compound that could be used to deliver aspirin in a controlled manner. The compound can be injected and can carry a large amount of aspirin.
In commonly used pills or patches, aspirin is trapped inside a capsule or a mesh. In the new compound, aspirin is built into backbone of a long polymer chain based on a sugar molecule called Xylitol, which occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables and is used as a sweetener. When delivered into the body, enzymes would break the bond between Xylitol molecule and the drug, resulting in gradual release of the drug into bloodstream.
Aspirin is used for reducing fever and pain. It is also used to lower the risk of heart attack or stroke by preventing clots from forming in blood vessels. However, it has certain side effects. Studies have shown that a gradual release of the drug instead of a rapid single burst can stave them off. Further, if a single chemical compound can keep circulating in the body and release a specified amount of the drug periodically, it would help avoid administering multiple pills at different times.
An advantage of the new compound is that it is totally biodegradable. All the precursors used to make the polymer are endogenous or native to the body. So, there is no accumulation. Besides, Xylitol is relatively unreactive and unlikely to interfere with aspirin’s action.