A group of researchers found a painkiller that has a more lasting effect and is less addictive than morphine, an article in the American Association for the Advancement of Science published in the journal Science Advances.
This nanoparticule was tested by rodents by experts who saw how three versions of natural nanoparticle had pain-relieving effects when applied to rats with infected legs.
This finding can pave the way for intensive pain management that does not bring serious side effects related to morphine or related synthetic opiates, which may, among other things, lead to addiction.
And it is that in the United States, an average of more than 115 people die of overdose of opiates per day, which is essential for detecting an analgesic that is less addictive.
The small, natural body peptides, such as enkephalins that bind opioid receptors, may be a variant of treating pain because they activate opioid receptor ligands that are thought to create less addiction.
In search of a better solution for morphine and opioids, scientists Zhao Fen and Patrick Couvert and their team created nanomedicine using the neuropeptide Leu-enkephalin (LENK), which intervenes in the regulation of body pain.
So far, the approach to using enkephalins for the treatment of pain has not been used due to pharmacokinetic problems such as the difficulties these peptides have in crossing the blood-brain barrier.
By associating LENK with a squalene, a natural compound that may be of vegetable or animal origin, scientists create nanoparticles that can be applied to the pain area by intravenous injections.
Four hours after their injection into rats, the researchers observed indications of lower heat sensitivity to pain and saw that the soothing effects were more lasting.