AUG 24, 2018 07:20 AM PDT

Cleaning Up Pollen Shells for Drug Delivery

Pollen is not just a much-dreaded allergen by many, but also a potential carrier for drugs and vaccines.

The grain of pollen come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. It could be as small as 6 micrometers in diameter. The wall of pollen grain can protect the sperm inside, which is the vital genetic material for plants reproduction, against destructive elements of nature such as solar radiation. On top of that, they come from natural sources and can be produced by thousands of millions in a short period, which makes them a possibly ideal vehicle for drug delivery. 

But the allergenic components within pollens are problematic, and researchers have been working on methods to remove allergens. And until recently there was only one single method developed for one particular plant species.

In a publication on the journal ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering, a team of chemists at the Texas Tech University have shown that they have found a cleansing method with broad applicability to rid pollens of different species of their allergens, and they hope that their finding can "pave the way to start investigating them for various applications".

Source: ACS via Youtube

About the Author
  • With years of experience in biomedical R & D, Daniel is also very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles.
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