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Self-Assembling Drug Delivery System for Local Anesthetics

Scientists at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School have developed a self-assembling delivery system that releases a class of potent anesthetics called site-1 sodium channel blockers (S1SCBs) over a prolonged period locally, at the site of injection. S1SCBs that include tetrodotoxin and saxitoxin are an attractive alternative to opioids. The researchers modified two peptides in the sodium channel with hydrophobic domains to induce self-assembly into nanostructures that bind to S1SCBs and release the anesthetic when the nanofibers are in the proximity of the nerve, providing sustained local anesthesia.