A paper published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology showed that putting two enzymes inside of a nanotech capsule could help speed up the elimination of alcohol from the body the way the liver does.
Dr. Lu, the lead author in the report said the enzyme mixture could be taken as a pill and could alter alcohol in the digestive tract, even as the liver does it job at the same time.
"The pill acts in a way extremely similar to the way your liver does," Lu said. "With further research, this discovery could be used as a preventative measure or antidote for alcohol intoxication."
Dr. Lu's laboratory took two enzymes, one that makes alcohol into peroxide, which is toxic, and another that converts the peroxide into oxygen and water. Putting these two enzymes together could skip all the steps that the liver takes to process alcohol.
The nanotechnology that the researchers used was in the delivery system, the pill. The pill is only one nanometer thick and has pores small enough for alcohol to come in, but not let the enzymes out. The pill acts like specific organelles, or cell micro organs, found in the liver that detoxify alcohol.
Researchers used mice to test the effectiveness of the pills in reducing blood alcohol levels.
Data in mice showed that blood alcohol levels in the mice that received the enzymes were 10.1 percent lower than in control-group mice after 45 minutes. And were 31.8 percent lower after 90 minutes and 36.8 percent lower after three hours.
Researchers hope this technology will help by utilizing other enzymes that the liver uses for other processes.
The research paper was published in Nature Nanotechnology and can be found here.
Published by Medicaldaily.com