Pain can often be better managed when two types of painkiller are used together. For example, it has recently become known that cannabinoids such as THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, enhance the painkilling effects of opioids such as morphine.
Teaming them up could allow doses to become smaller, reducing the possibility of addiction. But a simple mixture of the drugs produces unpredictable results because the body absorbs them at different rates.
A possible solution is to join together THC and morphine to create a hybrid molecule that is snipped apart by the body, say Joseph Holtman and Peter Crooks at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in Lexington, Kentucky.
Their idea is to bind the two drugs together using a linking molecule such as an ester. When the body snips this linking group, both drugs are released at the site where they are needed. That should ensure both drugs will be absorbed at the same rate, making it easier to work out doses for patients.
Read the full morphine-cannabis supermolecule painkiller patent application.
Botox face cream
Botulinum toxin or botox is injected by cosmetic surgeons to paralyse muscles and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. But the procedure can be painful and even cause tissue damage leading to problems such as drooping eyelids.
Now Robert Nicolosi and Jonathon Edelson at the University of Massachussetts Lowell Nanomanufacturing Center have developed a skin cream that can do the same trick.
It had been thought that botox could not pass through the skin. But the researchers have discovered that the toxin passes through with ease if it is attached to a nanoparticle in an emulsion.
The nanoemulsion also keeps the toxin stable, they claim, giving the cream a possible shelf life of up to two years.
Read the full botox face cream patent application.
A person suffering cardiac arrest is at risk of death as their blood is no longer circulating. Some studies have shown that patients' survival rates can increase by a factor of 3 when high-quality CPR is administered. But the quality of CPR is important.
Getting the depth of chest compressions right is one measure of quality. And a new gadget from Philips helps first aiders get it right, by giving physical feedback to let them know when the right depth has been reached. For an adult, that is around 4 centimetres, and for a child around 2.5cm.
The CPR coach is a pad placed over the patient's chest that contains accelerometers to monitor compression depth. When the correct depth has been reached, the device vibrates to warn the rescuer to stop. This can be combined with audio coaching, in the form of rhythmic beeps for a rescuer to follow.Original here