Medications

Nasal spray to fight COVID-19 heads to clinical trial

An at-home nasal spray treatment for COVID-19 will be put to the test by Melbourne biomedical researchers, as the University of Melbourne and Monash University receive $4.2 million to establish a six-month clinical trial ...

Medications

Heparin targets coronavirus spike protein, research shows

An international team of researchers led by the Universities of Liverpool and Keele, working with Public Health England, has found that the common anticoagulant drug heparin inhibits the SARS-Cov2 virus spike protein, by ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Researchers working on nasal spray to block COVID-19

A team of researchers, including faculty from the University of Mississippi schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, are developing a treatment that could be effective at preventing COVID-19. The good news is that it's something ...

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Heparin

Heparin (from Ancient Greek ηπαρ (hepar), liver), also known as unfractionated heparin, a highly sulfated glycosaminoglycan, is widely used as an injectable anticoagulant, and has the highest negative charge density of any known biological molecule. It can also be used to form an inner anticoagulant surface on various experimental and medical devices such as test tubes and renal dialysis machines.

Although it is used principally in medicine for anticoagulation, its true physiological role in the body remains unclear, because blood anti-coagulation is achieved mostly by heparan sulfate proteoglycans derived from endothelial cells. Heparin is usually stored within the secretory granules of mast cells and released only into the vasculature at sites of tissue injury. It has been proposed that, rather than anticoagulation, the main purpose of heparin is defense at such sites against invading bacteria and other foreign materials. In addition, it is conserved across a number of widely different species, including some invertebrates that do not have a similar blood coagulation system.

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