Researchers Develop Cost-Effective Treatment for Nail Fungus

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Researchers used nanotechnology to develop a cost-effective treatment for nail fungus, according to a study published on July 11, 2018.

This study was conducted by the researchers at the George Washington University. Onychomycosis is a nail fungus due to which nail disfigurement, pain, and increased risk of soft tissue infection is experienced by millions of people worldwide. Although antifungal treatments are available currently, these remain a failure due to certain factors. One of the recent treatments called as efinaconazole was designed to improve nail penetration and it showed highest cure rates among other topical antifungals. However, a bottle costs over US$ 600 and full treatment calls for multiple bottles.

The research team studied about the use of nanotechnology to improve it to a more cost-effective efinaconazole treatment. It was found that by integration of nitric oxide-releasing nanoparticles with efinaconazole, same antifungal effects were achieved, however, a fraction of the amount of the medication alone needed to impart the same effect.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology discovered that a combination of both the nanoparticles and the medication are more effective than when they are separately used. Moreover, another advantage of this is the ability of nanoparticles to access infections at areas that are difficult to reach out to, as penetration and retaining activity across the nail plate is a common impediment for many antifungals.

Adam Friedman, professor of dermatology said, “What we found was that we could impart the same antifungal activity at the highest concentrations tested of either alone by combining them at a fraction of these concentrations. The impact of this combo, which we visualized using electron microscopy as compared to either product alone, highlighted their synergistic damaging effects at concentrations that would be completely safe to human cells.”

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