Students develop antivenom in high school lab

Jennifer Newton writes on a HOT ChemComm article in Chemistry World

A US high school teacher and nine of his students have made nanoparticles that can neutralise venom from one of the most dangerous snakes in Africa. These nanoparticles could offer a way to make cheaper and more practical antivenoms.

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Traditional antivenoms are made by injecting sublethal toxin doses into an animal to invoke an immune response. Antibodies produced in this immune response are then harvested from the animal’s serum. Such antivenoms are not only expensive but they also required refrigeration – a major limitation considering antivenoms are often required in remote locations.

Now, Steven Sogo and his best students from Laguna Beach High School in California, have synthesised nanoparticles that will selectively bind to toxins in venom from the Mozambique Spitting Cobra. In vitro tests showed that, by binding to the toxins…

Read the full article in Chemistry World»

Read the original journal article in ChemComm:
Molecularly-imprinted nanoparticles that recognize Naja mossambica cytotoxins: binding studies and biological effects
Samantha Piszkiewicz, Evan A. Kirkbride, Nicolai Doreng-Stearns, Blake R. Henderson, Melissa A. Lenker, Erika Tang, Laura H. Kawashiri, Curtis S. Nichols, Sebastian C. Moore and Steven G. Sogo  
Chem. Commun., 2013, 49, 5954-5956
DOI: 10.1039/C3CC42394H

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