What is it about?

Maresin 2 is a bio-active lipid that promotes repair of intestinal epithelial cells in injured colonic mucosa. Unfortunately, Maresin-2 is unstable, making it hard to use for therapeutic purposes. In this paper we not only demonstrate that Maresin-2 promotes migration and proliferation of epithelial cells but we also encapsulate Maresin-2 in nanoparticles to protect the lipid from degradation.

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Why is it important?

Our findings show that Maresin-2 has the potential to be used as a therapeutic option for conditions where intestinal mucosal injuries (such as ulcers) occur. Maresin-2 promotes migration of intestinal epithelial cells, decreasing the time a wound takes to heal. Of upmost importance is the fact that we increased Maresin-2 stability by encapsulating the lipid in nanoparticles that protect the lipid from degradation and with the capability of being lyophilized, which facilitates long-term storage without the requirement of specialized equipment.


This article comes from the collaboration between a bio-engineer and a bio-medical research group. Interestingly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic we were forced to stop experiments related with the nanoparticles and this is how we discovered that lyophilized particles were thermostable and retained Maresin-2 biological activity for extended periods of time. I personally think this paper is a breakthrough for the treatment of intestinal inflammatory conditions worldwide, as we created a therapeutic option that can be stored at temperatures that don't required specialized equipment. We believe we are creating opportunities for developing countries and remote areas to access these type of therapeutic options if they becomes available in the future.

Miguel Quiros
University of Michigan

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Maresin-2 promotes mucosal repair and has therapeutic potential when encapsulated in thermostable nanoparticles, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, January 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2218162120.
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