Nanotechnology to create intelligent poultry feed
Poultry is big business in South Carolina, USA, and Clemson University
scientists are using nanotechnology to keep the birds and consumers healthy.
Diseases in poultry can be reduced by vaccines and medications but this may
pose risks to growers and consumers. In addition, each flock has particular
health and immunity profiles, so chicks from different breeders do not respond
to vaccines and diseases the same way.
Researchers are therefore looking for drug-free alternatives and Clemson
scientists have made a promising discovery using nanotechnology. Nanotechnology
is tiny science â€” 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
Intelligent chicken feed
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 â€œintelligent chicken feed.â€ "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,â€ Tzeng
said. To protect the discovery, Clemson technology transfer officials are
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.
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