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Nanosponge Soaks Up Toxins Released by Bacterial Infections and Venom

A nanosponge invented by engineers at the University of California, San Diego can safely remove many dangerous toxins from the bloodstream, including those produced by MRSA, E. coli, poisonous snakes, and bees.

Composed of a biocompatible polymer core, the nanosponge is wrapped in a natural red blood cell membrane to evade the immune system. These nanosponges neutralize pore-forming toxins, which destroy cells by poking holes in their cell membranes. Unlike other anti-toxin platforms that need to be custom synthesized for individual toxin type, the nanosponges can absorb different pore-forming toxins regardless of their molecular structures.

(UC San Diego)

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