Structure-Function Based Molecular Design of Inactivation Resistant Lung Surfactants
Lung surfactant is a material that lines the air-sacs in the lungs and is essential for breathing. Premature babies are often born before they have a chance to produce sufficient lung surfactant and they need to be given artificial surfactant in order to help them breathe. People of any age who are seriously ill or injured also frequently have damage to their lung surfactant which impairs their ability to breathe. One such condition, called Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), affects 150,000 people per year in the US alone, and has a fatality rate of about 40%. Unlike premature babies, giving artificial lung surfactant to ARDS patients does not increase their chances of survival. The reason for this is likely that the hostile conditions present in the lungs of ARDS patients that deactivated their own lung surfactant, rapidly inhibits the artificial surfactant used for their treatment. Our work is aimed at understanding the essential features of the proteins in natural lung surfactant and using this knowledge to develop artificial lung surfactant treatments that are more resistant to deactivation.
01 Jan 2008
31 Dec 2013
Strategic Research Theme
Well-being, Health and Biomedical Discovery