BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Future pandemics of seasonal flu, H1N1 and other drug-resistant viruses may be thwarted by a potent, immune-boosting payload that is effectively delivered to cells by gold nanorods, report scientists at the University at Buffalo and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The work is published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"This joint research by UB and the CDC has the potential to usher in a new generation of antiviral medicines to aggressively treat a broad range of infectious diseases, from H1N1 to avian flu and perhaps Ebola, that are becoming increasingly resistant to the medicines used against them," says UB team leader Paras Prasad, PhD, executive director of the UB Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics (ILPB) and SUNY Distinguished Professor in the departments of Chemistry, Physics, Electrical Engineering and Medicine.
The collaborative work between UB and CDC came together through the work of Krishnan Chakravarthy, an MD/PhD candidate at UB and the paper's first author. This research constitutes part of his doctoral degree work that focused on host response to influenza infection and novel drug delivery strategies.
The paper describes the single strand RNA molecule, which prompts a strong immune response against the influenza virus by ramping up the host's cellular production of interferons, proteins that inhibit viral replication.
But, like most RNA molecules, they are unstable when delivered into cells. The gold nanorods produced at UB act as an efficient vehicle to deliver into cells the powerful immune activator molecule.
"It all boils down to how we can deliver the immune activator," says Suryaprakesh Sambhara, DVM, PhD, in CDC's Influenza Division and a co-author on the paper. "The UB researchers had an excellent delivery system. Dr. Prasad and his team are well-known for their contributions to nanoparticle delivery systems."
|Contact: Ellen Goldbaum|
University at Buffalo