University of Miami,
Keywords: drug delivery, pregnancy
Summary:Scientific research community needs to be well-equipped to handle emerging and re-emerging pathogens through rapid intervention, prevention, and treatment, particularly for at-risk populations such as pregnant women, who may not be able to receive traditional therapies. Similarly, atherosclerosis and other hypercholesterolemia-related conditions pose a unique threat to high-risk women during prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal stages. Although the build-up of cholesterol-rich atherosclerotic plaques and subsequent oxidative stress and inflammation can harm both a woman and the fetus, traditional therapies such as statins are not recommended for pregnant women because of their ability to stop cholesterol biosynthesis and coenzyme Q10 production, both of which could pose significant threats to the fetus. Addressing viral and cardiovascular diseases in pregnant women comes with significant barriers to effective treatment, including the threat of antiviral or lipid lowering treatments penetrating the placental barrier and harming the fetus. Thus, there is great need for the development of alternate treatment modalities to adequately treat viral and heart diseases in pregnant women while preventing fetal damage due to the virus, anti-viral, or lipid lowering treatments. In this presentation, I will discuss some of our recent developments on orally administrable biodegradable nanoparticles which can potentially be used to manage viral diseases or maintain an optimize lipid levels during various stages of pregnancy.