According to the world health organization, snake bite nearly 5 million people each year, more than 100,000 are bitten die. Existing antidote is quite effective, but they are relatively expensive, and most importantly — not universal, that is, each antidote helps from the bite of a certain snake, and not all hospitals have the full set of antidotes. Now, researchers from the University of California have developed a synthetic antidote with a long shelf life, which may neutralize the venom of several species of snakes.
The antidote to snake bites is usually made from horse blood or sheep, which have entered a non-lethal dose of poison, and then in the blood of an animal produces antibodies against the toxins. This method has significant drawbacks. It is expensive, and therefore not available in poor rural areas of the world where most of the recorded snake bites. In addition, this antidote must be stored and transported in refrigerator. Researchers from the University of California claim that their synthetic antidote deprived of all these shortcomings.
“Modern antidote only from one kind of poison, and our design showed a wide range of possibilities, and this is very important. And our antidote is low cost and requires no refrigeration,” said Jeffrey O’brien, one of the authors of the study.
Artificial antidote, which scientists call the “nanodot” is a polymeric gel nanoparticles which absorb the poison by binding to certain protein toxins, which are common to several species of poisonous snakes. These particles absorb and neutralize toxins. Since the ingredients nanodot easy to obtain, its production is much cheaper than the production of most modern antidotes. And ease of storage and transportation facilitates its use outside of stationary points of care.
Now researchers are preparing for clinical trials nanodot, and in the future promise to release a special modification that allows you to neutralize the venom of spiders, Scorpions and bees.