Early nanomedicine: "nanodecoys" defeat viruses

from the if-we-don't-get-colds-are-we-still-human? dept.
From a HealthSCOUT report: Imagine being able to fight a virus even before infection occurs. Researchers say they've done just that (at least in a petri dish), preventing cells from becoming infected with the influenza virus…Their technique employs nanodecoys, super-small molecules that bind to viruses before they enter cells and cause disease. Invented by study co-author Donald Tomalia, scientific director of the University of Michigan's Center for Biologic Nanotechnology, nanodecoys are just a few billionths of a meter across…The decoys can multiply, producing different generations that are larger than their predecessors — meaning that a larger, later-generation decoy potentially could hold a larger drug molecule in its interior zone…[co-author Esfand] also speculates that nanodecoys could be used on mucosal surfaces, such as the nasal passages, or in air-mask filters to fight biological warfare agents.

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