Unfractionated heparin reduces the elasticity of sputum from patients with cystic fibrosis

Victoria J. Broughton-Head, Jagdeep Shur, Mary P. Carroll, James R. Smith, Janis K. Shute
  • AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, November 2007, American Physiological Society
  • DOI: 10.1152/ajplung.00206.2007

Heparin breaks up thick mucus secretions in cystic fibrosis

What is it about?

Patients with cystic fibrosis have thick mucus secretions that prevent drugs from entering the lungs. This paper shows that heparin is able to break up the fibrous networks that constitute mucus.

Why is it important?

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder affecting many organs, most significantly the lungs, which become clogged with thick mucus secretions. Being able to clear this will allow inhaled drugs, including gene vectors that one day might provide the desired cure, to be delivered much more easily.


Dr James R Smith
University of Portsmouth

Free download of our key 2007 paper.

Read Publication


The following have contributed to this page: Dr James R Smith