Introduction: The placenta is a crucial organ which allows for transfer of nutrients between the mother and fetus. Importantly, the placenta allows for transport of antibodies to the fetal bloodstream through the FcRn receptors inducing passive immunity. However, in HIV-positive mothers who cannot produce antibodies, passive immunity against toxoplasmosis, other, rubella, cytomegalovirus, and herpes (T.O.R.C.H) infections in utero is not plausible. A potential solution utilizing new nanoparticle technology was researched in hopes of delivering IgG antibodies to the developing
Methods: We propose using a liposomal nanoparticle filled with the IgG antibody cocktail to deliver the antibodies necessary for the fetal development. We will use pl-chondroitin sulfate A binding protein (plCSA-BP) to guide our nanoparticle towards the FcRn receptors on the trophoblast membranes of the placenta. Once attached the nanoparticle will degrade after its half-life and release antibodies. We will measure the transfer of antibodies through the ex vivo placental lobule system in combination with western blot. Please note that one side of the placental lobule system would represent the fetal side and one would represent the maternal side.
Results: It's expected that the nanoparticles will attach to trophoblastic layers through the plCSA-BP. The natural FcRn receptors will transfer the antibodies across the placenta to the fetal bloodstream inducing passive immunity in an ex-vivo model.
Discussion: These results may have a noticeable impact on pregnant human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive mothers due their ability to enter the fetal system, which will offer passive immunity against T.O.R.C.H viral infections and prevent developmental issues. The absence of antibodies for the fetus can, in some cases, lead to fatality.
Conclusion: We expect the study to show the utility of our nanoparticle design in combating fetal infections, especially in HIV women. This research should be furthered via research into the impacts of medication administration at different trimesters as this has immense potential in advancing a field often on the outskirts of medicine.
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