Researchers identify cost-cutting option in treating nail fungus with nanotechnology

July 11, 2018, George Washington University

Onychomycosis, a nail fungus that causes nail disfigurement, pain, and increased risk of soft tissue infection, impacts millions of people worldwide. There are several topical antifungal treatments currently available; however, treatment failure remains high due to a number of factors.

The most recent treatment, a broad spectrum triazole called efinaconazole, is designed to improve nail penetration. It boasts the highest cure rates among other topical antifungals, but the cost for a bottle is more than $600, and full treatment calls for multiple bottles.

Adam Friedman, MD, professor of dermatology at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and his team investigated the use of nanotechnology to improve efinaconazole treatment and make it more cost effective. They observed that when nitric oxide-releasing nanoparticles are combined with the efinaconazole, it achieves the same antifungal effects, but at a fraction of the amount of the medication alone needed to impart the same effect.

"Nanotechnology is being studied and employed in many areas of medicine and surgery to better deliver established imaging and therapeutic agents to ultimately improve patient outcomes," said Friedman. "A quickly emerging roadblock in patient care is, unfortunately, access to medications due to rising cost and poor insurance coverage."

The study, published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, found that, when combined, the nanoparticles and the medication are more effective than both alone, opening the door to potentially better and more tolerable treatment regimens. An additional benefit is the ability of nanoparticles to access infections in difficult to reach locations, as penetration and retaining activity across the nail plate is a common impediment for many antifungals.

"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," Friedman explained. "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."

Given these results, the authors note that it is worth further researching the synergy of nitric oxide-releasing and efinaconazole against onychomycosis to determine the efficacy of the in a clinical setting.

The study, titled "Nitric Oxide Releasing Nanoparticles as a Strategy to Improve Current Onychomycosis Treatments" is published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.

Explore further: Research on nitric oxide-releasing nanoparticles reveals viable skin infection treatment

More information: Nitric Oxide Releasing Nanoparticles as a Strategy to Improve Current Onychomycosis Treatments, jddonline.com/articles/dermato … /S1545961618P0717X/1

Related Stories

Research on nitric oxide-releasing nanoparticles reveals viable skin infection treatment

July 31, 2017
George Washington University (GW) researchers have found that topically applied nitric oxide-releasing nanoparticles (NO-np) are a viable treatment for deep fungal infections of the skin caused by dermatophytes, for which ...

What is cost effectiveness of confirmatory testing before treating nail fungus?

December 23, 2015
An analysis based on data from previously published literature suggests it is more cost effective to treat all suspected cases of nail fungus (onychomycosis) with the oral medication terbinafine than to perform confirmatory ...

Topical treatment effective for toenail fungal infection

April 12, 2013
(HealthDay)—Once daily topical efinaconazole is effective in treating fungal infections of the toenail, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

FDA approves new nail fungus treatment

June 12, 2014
(HealthDay)—A new topical nail fungus treatment, Jublia, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Nanoparticles used to prevent inflammatory acne through slow-released nitric oxide

July 15, 2015
GW researcher and dermatologist, Adam Friedman, M.D., and colleagues, find that the release of nitric oxide over time may be a new way to treat and prevent acne through nanotechnology. This research, published in the Journal ...

Another downside of weight gain: toenail fungus

March 23, 2018
(HealthDay)—Piling on pounds is bad for your health from head to toe.

Recommended for you

Researchers a step closer to understanding how deadly bird flu virus takes hold in humans

November 19, 2018
New research has taken a step towards understanding how highly pathogenic influenza viruses such as deadly bird flu infect humans.

Infants born to obese mothers risk developing liver disease, obesity

November 16, 2018
Infant gut microbes altered by their mother's obesity can cause inflammation and other major changes within the baby, increasing the risk of obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease later in life, according to researchers ...

New study shows NKT cell subsets play a large role in the advancement of NAFLD

November 16, 2018
Since 2015 it has been known that the gut microbiota could have a direct impact on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which affects up to 12% of adults and is a leading cause of chronic liver disease. In the November ...

Antibiotic prescribing influenced by team dynamics within hospitals

November 15, 2018
Antibiotic prescribing by doctors is influenced by team dynamics and cultures within hospitals.

Discovery suggests new route to fight infection, disease

November 14, 2018
New research reveals how a single protein interferes with the immune system when exposed to the bacterium that causes Legionnaires' disease, findings that could have broad implications for development of medicines to fight ...

New research aims to help improve uptake of hepatitis C testing

November 14, 2018
New research published in Scientific Reports shows persisting fears about HIV infection may impact testing uptake for the hepatitis C Virus (HCV).

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.