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GEN’s editorial staff interviews life science academic and biotech industry leaders on important research, technology, and trends. These podcasts will keep you informed with all the important details you need.

University of California, Irvine (UCI) researchers report that they have developed the world’s first “plastic antibodies” that have already been employed in live organisms to stop the spread of bee venom through the bloodstream of mice. The polymer nanoparticles were prepared by molecular imprinting, a technique similar to plaster casting. Unlike natural antibodies produced by live organisms and harvested for medical use, synthetic antibodies can be created in laboratories at a lower cost and have a longer shelf life, according to the scientists.

During this week’s podcast UCI team leader, Dr. Ken Shea, describes in detail both the plastic antibodies and the actual process used to manufacture them. He elaborates on the advantages of the novel antibodies vis-a-vis natural antibodies and explains the significance of the animal experiments that have already been carried out. Dr. Shea goes on to talk about current work being done in his lab and explores additional applications for plastic antibodies.

Kenneth J. Shea received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from The Pennsylvania State University and did his postdoc at California Institute of Technology. He is currently professor at and chair of the chemistry department of UCI. His research focuses on synthetic and mechanistic organic chemistry, polymer, and materials chemistry. Dr. Shea has been awarded seven U.S. patents and has been a consultant to over 10 companies.

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