Saturday, December 9, 2023

Nanoparticles Used to Perform Gene Editing in the Lungs.


Researchers at MIT have found a new way to administer nanoparticles which contain mRNA with CRISPR/Cas 9 components, to the lungs. The main goal of the project was to find a more efficient way to administer drugs. In the past injections and oral forms have been used however researchers find that these pathways might not be the most efficient. As a result, their main target was to create medication that could be inhaled almost like a nebulizer. This concept was first tested on mice with the nanoparticles containing a gene for a fluorescent protein. Scientists then measured what percent of the mice showed fluorescence in the lungs. After three doses, scientists found that almost 60% of the lung epithelial cells had fluorescence. In addition, for lung diseases, the two cells which are most affected are ciliated cells and club cells. They showed a fluorescence of 15%. This method of drug administration is also very effective as the lungs are cleared within 3 days avoiding any inflammation. Scientists are still working on making these particles more stable so they can be aerosolized. The main goal of this project is to correct the genetic mutations caused by cystic fibrosis and other forms of lung disease. 

This study is very insightful because drugs for lung disease are rarely ever inhaled and used in the form of a nebulizer. In many cases, the current drugs can be very inefficient as they often have side effects and don’t target the lungs specifically. However this study gives insight on how future medications might work when it comes to treating lung disease. This project is also very important because it showed that drugs like these can be produced in mass quantities. This is a very important aspect of drug development as if a drug cannot be produced in mass quantities then it can be very hard for the general population to take advantage of it. Overall this study shows a bright future when it comes to the treatment of lung diseases. 



  1. Wow! This is not only a genetic breakthrough but a medical breakthrough especially considering that this is particularly channeled towards correcting the genetic mutations of cystic fibrosis, a respiratory disease with no known cure and other lung diseases. What amazes me is the fact that nano particles are being used for the gene editing process which most likely makes it a less complex process.

  2. I believe that with this new way to administer drugs can be helpful for health care professionals using nano particles being used in the lungs for gene editing. I found this blog post very interesting, of how this discover has the ability to fix the genetic mutations of lung diseases and cystic fibrosis. The picture definitely grabbed my attention with the fluorescence that is shown.

  3. Hi Saami, this is really interesting because we are now seeing a new way to administer drugs. This could be really helpful because of the quick outcome it is currently showing with lungs being cleared within 3 days. As someone with asthma who uses a nebulizer when sick, I think this can be very helpful.