Artificial 'biospleen' cleans up blood from viruses/bacteria

Nanobeads attach to E. coli (left) and S. aureus (right).

There might be a new futuristic way of fighting viruses and bacteria. Instead of taking antibiotics, which can have side effects and might not be that effective, in the future we might hook ourselves to a device that uses magnetic nanobeads coated with specific proteins, which attach to the surfaces of pathogens. The pathogens are then filtered out of the blood stream. This device can fight HIV and Ebola. It works with more than 90 different bacteria, viruses and fungi and it even works against toxins released by dead bacteria. 

This device has been already tested on rats which were infected with E. coli or Staphylococcus aureus. 5 hours later 89% of the rats treated with this device survived the infection, while only 14% survived without it. The device had removed more than 90% of the bacteria from the rats' blood.

For humans it could clear about 1 liters of blood per hour, so it would take approximately 5 hours to clean the blood of a patient. After the 'biospleen' has done its work, antibiotics and the immune system can fight off the remaining few.

Sepsis is a life threatening condition where your body is essentially fighting a whole-body inflammation and devices like the 'biospleen' can be extremely useful in such situations.


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