Contact: Catherine Hockmuth
University of California - San Diego
Caption: Engineers at the University of California, San Diego have invented a "nanosponge" capable of safely removing a broad class of dangerous toxins from the bloodstream -- including toxins produced by MRSA, E. coli, poisonous snakes and bees. These nanosponges, which thus far have been studied in mice, can neutralize "pore-forming toxins," which destroy cells by poking holes in their cell membranes. Unlike other anti-toxin platforms that need to be custom synthesized for individual toxin type, the nanosponges can absorb different pore-forming toxins regardless of their molecular structures. In a study against alpha-haemolysin toxin from MRSA, pre-innoculation with nanosponges enabled 89 percent of mice to survive lethal doses. Administering nanosponges after the lethal dose led to 44 percent survival.
Credit: UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering
Usage Restrictions: Usage is conditioned on credit to UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering
Related news release: Nanosponges soak up toxins released by bacterial infections and venom