* The coating on the nanobeads binds to many different things, so it's useful even if you don't know in advance what is making the patient sick.
The device uses a modified version of mannose-binding lectin (MBL), a protein found in humans that binds to sugar molecules on the surfaces of more than 90 different bacteria, viruses and fungi, as well as to the toxins released by dead bacteria that trigger the immune overreaction in sepsis.
* The device can process about 1 litre of blood per hour; compare with about 5 litre blood volume for a typical human, thus this should be able to completely process a person's blood about once every 5 hours. If a faster rate is needed, multiple devices could be used in parallel.
* This has been successfully tested on rats. They infected rats with bacteria and 89% of the rats treated with the "artificial spleen" survived, while only 14% of the control group survived.
* This could move to human clinical trials relatively soon.
Nigel Klein, an infection and immunity expert at University College London, says that the biospleen could also allow diagnosticians to collect samples of a pathogen from the blood and then culture it to identify it and determine what drugs will best treat it. As blood transfusion and filtration are already common practices, he expects that the biospleen could move into human clinical trials within a couple of years.
Read the whole article. It's not long and all of it is interesting.