Scientists identify promise treatment approach for Lyme disease

Scientists have developed a new treatment that could stop immune cells from becoming cancerous in people living with Lyme disease a vicious and sometimes deadly virus that reveals symptoms even decades before they are detectable by the bodys immune system.

The immune system which is an organized network of white blood cells that tries to eliminate infected and uninfected cells and organisms from the body is vital to maintaining the immune systems ability to fight off disease-causing bacteria and viruses. However the immune system often becomes resistant to some infections which in turn increases the risk of developing new infections.

The treatment consists of a tiny device that amplifies natural immune-modulatory signals (like natural killer cell stimulation) or high-density transcranial magnetic stimulation (HTS) which strikes a balance between boosting the release of immune cells and dampening the potential negative impacts of the immune system.

Sachiko Yamamoto a postdoctoral fellow at the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science developed the device while working on an NIH-funded project that focused on designing wearable transcutaneous resistance devices that could detect infection-causing agents as well as modifying immune-regulatory factors to prevent the development of Lyme disease infection.

Shiken Experimental Training Program (SHIKER) is conducted in collaboration with the university medical school at Takatsuki City in central Japan.

Dr Iwamoto-san; Yuki Yanagisawa a researcher at the university medical school; and Professor Masayuki Okami a professor of biomedical and physiological sciences at Morioka University in Japan also collaborated with Dr Yamamoto to create the device.

Treatments for Lyme diseaseA redesign of the original device with a lightweight flexible coating made from a diet of nanocrystals well-known in radiation therapy research laboratories.

In the current study the reaction of natural killer cells and T lymphocytes a type of lymphocyte in the body was measured using this coating. With the help of the device it was concluded that natural killer cells and T lymphocytes respond to a linear stress (where the skin is exposed to significant pressure) up to a pressure of about 6 G.

Traits that stop the immune responseThe device consists of a layer of graphene carbon nanotubes (graphene) on the skin. Using a carbon-based coating each nanotube can interact with the surface of the skin. When there is a chemical bond between the nanotube and the skin the surface of the coating is moist and even when the surface of the coating is exposed to sunlight the coating absorbs the light.

Li-ion batteries That are non-invasive but require small amounts of energy.

The second component is the Li-ion battery. The batteries can be miniaturized or removed after every use. They are small but have higher capacity than the current standard batteries(up to 500 mAh) and have been found to be electrically conductive. Furthermore the Li-ion battery can be drained even when the cell is not in use.

Such a thin metallic coat which protects the interior also protects the exterior from harmful chemicals.