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© 2016 Future Medicine Ltd. Treatment of acute cardiac ischemia remains an area in which there are opportunities for therapeutic improvement. Despite significant advances, many patients still progress to cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. Timely reperfusion is critical in rescuing vulnerable ischemic tissue and is directly related to patient outcome, but reperfusion of the ischemic myocardium also contributes to damage. Overproduction of reactive oxygen species, initiation of an inflammatory response and deregulation of calcium homeostasis all contribute to injury, and difficulties in delivering a sufficient quantity of drug to the affected tissue in a controlled manner is a limitation of current therapies. Nanotechnology may offer significant improvements in this respect. Here, we review recent examples of how nanoparticles can be used to improve delivery to the ischemic myocardium, and suggest some approaches that may lead to improved therapies for acute cardiac ischemia.
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