Scientists have created a new process for “smuggling” things past the immune system using nanoparticles made of plastic. The particles can keep the immune system from noting the items being “smuggled” and are then passed harmlessly out of the body.

A study from Northwestern University has looked into using these nanoparticles to treat and even potentially cure food allergies. The study took egg-allergic mice and used the nanoparticles to feed the mice eggs, resulting in no reaction after the first treatment.

Preliminary, but Promising.

The way the process worked was by encasing egg proteins in nanoparticles and introducing them to the mice. Once introduced, the particles were ignored by the immune system, allowing the proteins to be introduced to the body for processing. This, in turn, taught the body that the proteins are not harmful, changing the immune systems future reactions.

The researchers are testing the method on peanut-allergic mice. Earlier, similar studies for multiple sclerosis, another immune disorder, have led to an upcoming human trial of the method.

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