First a synthetic genome, and now plastic antibodies: Scientific American's Observations blog reports that researchers from Japan, Stanford University, and University of California, Irvine, have develop plastic antibodies that work like real antibodies, latching onto antigens. The nanoparticles are "barely 1/50,000th the width of a human hair," the blog's Katie Moisse says. The researchers used molecular imprinting to create melittin-shaped craters in small plastic dots, Moisse writes. After injecting mice with a lethal dose of melittin, the researchers then injected the mice with the plastic antibodies, which diminished the toxicity of the melittin. The researchers suggested the plastic antibodies could also be used to fight many different antigens, Moisse adds.
Synthetic Biology Rolls Along
Jun 14, 2010