February 23, 2011
"MIT scientists have worked out how to encase potent vaccines in nanoparticle shells -- creating nanovaccine delivery systems, a trick that could have serious implications in fighting difficult-to-kill viruses like HIV," Fast Company reports (Eaton, 2/22). "The new particles, described in the Feb. 20 issue of Nature Materials, consist of concentric fatty spheres that can carry synthetic versions of proteins normally produced by viruses," according to an MIT press release. Darrell Irvine, author of the paper and an associate professor of materials science and engineering and biological engineering at MIT, said the "synthetic particles elicit a strong immune response -- comparable to that produced by live virus vaccines -- but should be much safer" (2/22). The technology has been "tested successfully in mice, and worked to convert large numbers of T-cells to act as vaccine," Fast Company adds (2/22).
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