Erythrocytes as Drug Carriers in Medicine

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The sixth meeting on the use of resealed annealed red blood cells was held in Irsee, Germany by the International Society for the Use of Resealed Erythrocytes (ISURE) on July 25-28, 1996. Although earlier meetings focused on the technology toward develop- ment of methods and standardization for efficient, consistent encapsulation, most of the present studies now are directed toward the application use of these carrier blood cells. Basic studies now have been directed toward exploration of commercial applications. In- deed, clinical trials were initiated to evaluate the dose-response curves employing L- asparagenase in human patients. Also, studies have shown the use of thrombolytic agent in erythrocyte carriers with the use of human red blood cells to provide a new conceptual ap- proach in thrombolytic therapy to prevent thrombosis in individuals with higher risk fac- tors. For example, with the use of carrier red blood cells, the thrombolytic agents will have a greater potential of acting on clot formation without systemic activation and thus lower the risk of hemorrhage, which is always prevalent in the thrombolytic therapy.