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Russia Finds Potential HIV Cure in a Nanomaterial

By Prei Dy, | May 04, 2017

Russian researchers have found a potential cure for HIV. (YouTube)

Russian researchers have found a potential cure for HIV. (YouTube)

Russian researchers were able to create a potent weapon against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) using a carbon nanomaterial called fullerene. Scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences found that dissolving fullerene in water will turn it into a substance that could get rid of HIV molecules in the human body.

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"We produced a water-soluble fullerene derivative bearing five residues of 3-hydroxypropanoic acid that displayed high inhibitory activity towards the human immunodeficiency virus," Pavel Troshin, a scientist from the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics, told RIA Novosti.

Troshin said that previous attempts of using fullerene for medical purposes have been thwarted because nanomaterials are insoluble in water. However, the Russian researchers were able to bypass using chlorinated fullerenesb that are suited to bond with alcohol and other organic materials, Sputnik News reported.

The scientists further claimed that the effectiveness of the substance is comparable to that of tenofovir disoproxil, which is currently used to prevent and treat HIV. It also does not pose any negative side effects.

 Aside from HIV, researchers believe that other derivatives of soluble fullerenes could be used to neutralize other hazardous viruses such as hepatitis. They also hope that the results of their study will pave way for the creation of antiviral fullerene-based medications and launch them to the pharmaceutical market in the near future.

Meanwhile, in 2015, European researchers have also formed a "giant" molecule formed by 13 fullerenes covered by carbohydrates that could potentially inhibit the cell infection by an artificial ebola virus model by blocking the cellular DC-SIGN receptor. Various studies found that the ebola virus infection process starts when the virus reaches the DC-SIGN receptor to infect the immune system's dendritic cells.

Researchers believe that if receptors are blocked and virus infection is inhibited, dissemination of the virus will decrease and the immune response will increase, although the idea still needs to be developed with in vivo studies, Science Daily reported. 

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