Thursday, November 13, 2014

How NANOFIBERS can help prevent HIV / AIDS!!!

Researchers have developed a special gel that is made up of a power virucidal chemical (to kill viruses) and a special nanofiber mesh. The device, designed to fit into a woman's body, can stop the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

The risks associated with HIV infection are well known and having the virus can lead to AIDS-related diseases. To date there is no cure for HIV infection (although the virus can be suppressed in the

There are various devices designed to minimize the risk of HIV infection through sexual intercourse. However, most of the anti-HIV drug delivery methods available are in the form of gels and suppositories. These tend to lack appropriate vaginal retention; they are also prone to medicine leakage; and often cause uncomfortable wetness. A team of researchers have developed a new device that overcomes these problems.

Specifically the new device is made up of a microbicide that contains hyaluronic acid (HA) nanofibers. The device functions by triggering the release, upon exposure to semen fluid during sexual intercourse, of an anti-viral compound. The precise application of nanotechnology avoids leakage of fluids, making it more comfortable for a woman to use.

To manufacture the device, the science team worked on an electrospinning method in order to prepare the nanofibers. These fibers were loaded with tenofovir, an anti-HIV compound. Once constructed, the semen enzyme-dependent nanofiber degradation and drug release were then measured using laboratory tests.

The device effectively kills any HIV present in semen prior to the semen reaching the vaginal mucosa. The device was found to be efficient in animal studies, with much of its effectiveness based on the contact time that the biocide had with the virus. The device was found to protect the biocide from degrading, allowing it to be used over a long period of time.

The research team behind the device came from University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy. The new device was exhibited at the 2014 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego. Further animal tests are required before the device can be used for human trials. The study is supported by a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, U.S.