Prion Filter for Donated Blood

ProMetic Life Sciences, a company out of Mont-Royal, Quebec, has developed a blood filter touted to remove prions responsible for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). Considering that currently there is no available test for vCJD in donated blood, filtering may soothe the nerves of potential transfusion recipients.

The team took five years to create the hand-sized filter, screening millions of small peptides to find one that had the strongest affinity for the prions found in contaminated blood. They stuck the best peptide onto commercial polymethacrylate resins, and then sandwiched these in alternating layers with a membrane

In tests, the disposable filter can clean the prions out of a single pack of contaminated blood in less than an hour. No prions remain in the cleaned blood, which is otherwise unchanged by the process. Tests with prion-infected hamsters showed that their filtered blood could be injected into disease-free hamsters with no ill effects.

Source: medgadget.comAdded: 30 April 2008