People with celiac disease can’t tolerate gluten as soon as they eat cake, bread, and beer their immune system triggers a inflammation response in their small intestines causing abdominal pain, diarrhea, and other nasty side effects.
Researchers from Northwestern University developed the tech, which they presented on Tuesday at the European Gastroenterology Week conference, and it works by hiding a bit of gluten in a biodegradable nanoparticle.
Injected into a person’s bloodstream, the nanoparticle looks to the immune system like a bit harmless debris, so it allows a macrophage — a type of cell tasked with removing such detritus from the body — to gobble up the particle, hidden gluten and all.
The vacuum-cleaner cell presents the allergen or antigen to the immune system in a way that says, ‘No worries, this belongs here. The immune system then shuts down its attack on the allergen, and the immune system is reset to normal.
The researchers have already tested the nanoparticle in a phase 2 clinical trial of people with celiac disease.
So far, the researchers have only tested their system in humans to combat celiac disease, but they believe they could eventually treat peanut allergies, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and a host of other issues all with the same Trojan horse-style tech.
Reference- Futurism, Celiac.org website, Northwestern University website