NEW YORK, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say they're using nanotechnology to create a topical treatment for erectile dysfunction, thereby avoiding side effects associated with drugs.
Researchers at Yeshiva University's Albert Einstein College of Medicine say the delivery system that uses nanoparticles encapsulating nitric oxide or prescription drugs has been successfully tested on a small number of animals.
If the study's results can be replicated in humans, the scientists said it would mean safer and more effective ED therapy for millions of men with heart disease and other health problems affecting erectile function.
The drug-delivery system developed by Einstein scientists consists of nanoparticles that can carry tiny payloads of various drugs or other medically useful substances and release them in a controlled and sustained manner.
"Most of the animals, nearly 90 percent, showed a response to treatment with the nanoparticles," said Professor Joel Friedman, who developed the nanoparticles with his son, Dr. Adam Friedman.
"The response time to the nanoparticles was very short, just a few minutes, which is basically what people want in an ED medication," added Associate Professor Kelvin Davies, the study's senior author. "In both rats and humans, it can take 30 minutes to one hour for oral ED medications to take effect."
The findings are reported in the early online edition of the Journal of Sexual Medicine.