Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Vaginal gel with bee venom lowers transmission of HIV

Abstract:
A recent discovery that a vaginal gel consisting of nanoparticles carrying bee venom can serve both for contraception and for HIV prevention won a grant from the Gates Foundation.

by Jack Marshall Staff Reporter

Vaginal gel with bee venom lowers transmission of HIV

Saint Louis, MO | Posted on November 19th, 2010

The gel is especially promising for improving sexual health because it caters to women. This differs from condoms, which have been the number-one choice to prevent the spread of HIV but depend heavily on male participation and willingness to use them.

"This gel gives women an opportunity to empower themselves to prevent HIV and pregnancy with a product they can use themselves," said Bradley Stoner, associate professor of anthropology.

The idea came from Sam Wickline, a professor of medicine, cell biology and physiology at the Washington University School of Medicine. Wickline is one of 65 scientists to participate in the 2010 Grand Challenges Explorations Grant program, a $100 million program sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Grand Challenges Explorations Grant traditionally rewards projects that result from unorthodox thinking and innovative ideas to aid in the fight against global health problems.

"Sperm and HIV are remarkably similar in their natural mechanism of genetic transmission," Wickline said in a news release. "Both need to fuse with their target cell in order to deliver their genetic payloads—DNA in the case of sperm, and RNA in the case of HIV."

And even though the gel is not as familiar to people as are condoms, Stoner thinks that people can be educated easily about its use.

"There have been some recent trials of intravaginal microbicide gels that prevent against HIV and other STDs, and they've been found to be well accepted by women, so this is also something that could be implemented probably with great success," Stoner said.

Though research on the gel is still in early stages, Stoner hopes that the gel will be affordable.

"If researchers are able to prove that this works and that it can be manufactured on a large scale, I hope that price would go down to supportable levels," Stoner said.

According to Wickline, the gel contains a "Trojan Horse," a lipid nanoparticle developed by Wickline and Gregory Lanza, a professor of medicine, biomedical engineering, and biology and biomedical sciences at the medical school, that attracts the sperm and HIV before destroying it using the bee toxin.

"The idea is to trick each [agent] to fuse with a synthetic Trojan horse—a nanoparticle that will overwhelm sperm and HIV in numbers and in destructive power," Wickline said.

The bee toxin, known as melittin, comes from the honeybee Apis mellifera. The method has been shown to be safe for clinical use.

"Cells readily take in melittin," Wickline said. "But once it gets in, it pokes holes in cell membranes to destroy the cells."

The Gates Foundation launched the Grand Challenges Explorations Grant program in 2003 as a way to find new solutions to health problems that have not been solved adequately by traditional means. Scientists can apply for the Explorations program online and receive news about whether their idea has been chosen for a $100,000 grant approximately four months after the submission deadline. The foundation gives grants of $100,000 twice a year, while successful projects can receive an additional grant of $1 million and become part of the Grand Challenges project, as Wickline's project has. According to the Grand Challenges website, the Gates Foundation has given grants to 405 researchers from 34 countries.

Projects this year include another HIV vaginal contraceptive, developed by Nongnuj Tanphaichitr of the Ottawa Health Research Institute, which, according to the Grand Explorations website, will "research whether the antimicrobial peptide LL-37 can be used simultaneously as a contraceptive and an anti-HIV treatment."

In addition to Tanphaichitr's and Wickline's projects, 17 other projects fall under the "Create New Technologies for Contraception" topic. The 65 projects, announced on Nov. 9 as winners of Grand Challenges Explorations grants, fall under 12 categories.

"We believe this can succeed because both sperm and HIV are built to target, fuse and discharge their cargo," Wickline said in the news release. "Our nanoparticles are similarly built to target, fuse and deliver their cargo. These attributes will enable a process of mutual assured destruction in a sequestered biological environment."

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © Washington University in St. Louis

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Oregon researchers glimpse pathway of sunlight to electricity: Collaboration with Lund University uses modified UO spectroscopy equipment to study 'maze' of connections in photoactive quantum dots December 19th, 2014

Instant-start computers possible with new breakthrough December 19th, 2014

Aculon Hires New Business Development Director December 19th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Use Nanotechnology to Increase Power, Energy of Supercapacitors December 18th, 2014

Possible Futures

A novel method for identifying the body’s ‘noisiest’ networks November 19th, 2014

Researchers discern the shapes of high-order Brownian motions November 17th, 2014

VDMA Electronics Production Equipment: Growth track for 2014 and 2015 confirmed: Business climate survey shows robust industry sector November 14th, 2014

Open Materials Development Will Be Key for HP's Success in 3D Printing: HP can make a big splash in 3D printing, but it needs to shore up technology claims and avoid the temptation of the razor/razor blade business model in order to flourish November 11th, 2014

Academic/Education

SUNY Poly NanoCollege Faculty Member Selected as American Physical Society Fellow: SUNY Poly Associate Professor of Nanoscience Dr. Vincent LaBella Recognized for Significant Technological Innovations that Enable Interactive Learning December 17th, 2014

Nanomedicine expert joins Rice faculty: Gang Bao combines genetic, nano and imaging techniques to fight disease December 17th, 2014

FEI and Oregon Health & Science University Install a Complete Correlative Microscopy Workflow in Newly Built Collaborative Science Facility December 16th, 2014

Student Nanotechnology Laboratories Network Set Up in Iran December 15th, 2014

Nanomedicine

Creation of 'Rocker' protein opens way for new smart molecules in medicine, other fields December 18th, 2014

Iranian Researchers Produce Electrical Pieces Usable in Human Body December 18th, 2014

Zenosense, Inc. - Hospital Collaboration - 400 Person Lung Cancer Detection Trial December 17th, 2014

Unraveling the light of fireflies December 17th, 2014

Announcements

Oregon researchers glimpse pathway of sunlight to electricity: Collaboration with Lund University uses modified UO spectroscopy equipment to study 'maze' of connections in photoactive quantum dots December 19th, 2014

Instant-start computers possible with new breakthrough December 19th, 2014

Aculon Hires New Business Development Director December 19th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Use Nanotechnology to Increase Power, Energy of Supercapacitors December 18th, 2014

Personal Care

Sunblock poses potential hazard to sea life August 20th, 2014

AQUANOVA receives Technology Leadership Award 2014 FROST & SULLIVAN honors NovaSOL® Technology again August 12th, 2014

Nanotechnology used in sunscreens: a Mexican achievement May 14th, 2014

Production of Nanocapsule from Sea-Buckthorn Extract in Iran May 3rd, 2014

Grants/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

SUNY Poly NanoCollege Faculty Member Selected as American Physical Society Fellow: SUNY Poly Associate Professor of Nanoscience Dr. Vincent LaBella Recognized for Significant Technological Innovations that Enable Interactive Learning December 17th, 2014

“Line dancing bacteria win the 2014 Dolomite and Lab on a Chip Video Competition” December 16th, 2014

Lifeboat Foundation gives 2014 Guardian Award to Elon Musk December 16th, 2014

UCLA engineers first to detect and measure individual DNA molecules using smartphone microscope December 15th, 2014

Nanobiotechnology

Scientists trace nanoparticles from plants to caterpillars: Rice University study examines how nanoparticles behave in food chain December 16th, 2014

FEI and Oregon Health & Science University Install a Complete Correlative Microscopy Workflow in Newly Built Collaborative Science Facility December 16th, 2014

UCLA engineers first to detect and measure individual DNA molecules using smartphone microscope December 15th, 2014

Biomimetic dew harvesters: Understanding how a desert beetle harvests water from dew could improve drinking water collection in dew condensers December 8th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE