Scientists in the US have developed tiny sponges made from nanoparticles disguised as red blood cells that can soak up a broad range of dangerous toxins in the blood, such as from bacteria like MRSA and E. coli, and even snake and bee venom. They suggest their technology, which so far has been shown to work in mice, offers a new way to remove toxins caused by a wide range of pathogens.
Pre-injecting the mice with the nanosponges enabled 89% of them to survive lethal doses of the toxin. Giving them the injection after the lethal dose resulted in 44% survival.
For instance, a single nanosponge can mop up around 85 molecules of the alpha-haemolysin toxin that MRSA produces
In medicine, nanotechnology promises to revolutionize
nanoscience and nanotechnology could help brain activity mapping