Synthetic polymer may help dramatically slow down HIV transmission

Washington: A precisely designed macromolecule that is capable of mimicking the binding of HIV to immune system cells could be used to stop HIV virus from physically entering the body.

According to a new study led by a materials scientist at Queen Mary University of London, the researchers created the large molecule with several sugar molecules, known as glycopolymers.

By using different sugars attached to the macromolecule in solution, the scientists were able to investigate which sugar molecules were the most effective in inhibiting the potential binding of the virus.

They then measured how the designed macromolecules compete with the virus to bind to the dendritic cells of the immune system at different concentrations.

Dr Remzi Becer from Queen Mary`s School of Engineering and Materials Science, said that these are preliminary but encouraging results for potentially preventing the spread of the HIV by sexual contact.

The research has bee published in the journal Macromolecular Rapid Communications.