Poultry is big business in South Carolina, USA and Clemson University scientists are using nanotechnology to keep the birds and consumers healthy.
Researchers are therefore looking for drug-free
alternatives and Clemson scientists have made a promising discovery using
nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is tiny science — working with materials
1/100,000th the size of a human hair. Scientists are seeking to shrink materials
down to the scale of atoms, creating particles that show promise for making
better medicines, faster computers and safer foods.
Jeremy Tzeng and Clemson colleagues Fred Stutzenberger,
Robert Latour Jr. and Ya-Ping Sun have built nanoparticles that mimic the host
cell surface in poultry and locks to the targeted pathogens. The particles then
bind together and are purged through the bowel. Tzeng calls it “intelligent
chicken feed.” “If we use this physical purging, physical removal, we are not
using antibiotics so the chance of the microorganism becoming resistant to it is
really small,” Tzeng said. To protect the discovery, Clemson technology transfer
officials are patenting it.
Tzeng says that it will take more research and testing before
the nanoparticle is ready to be used, but in the not-so-distant future, chickens
and humans may live better lives due to intelligent chicken feed.