The world's toughest animal could one day help save your life• arclein
Biologics - vaccines, antibodies, stem cells, blood and other blood products - are derived from living organisms and require cold conditions to prevent heat breaking down the protein and destroying it. One that relies on this prohibitive cold-chain infrastructure is human blood-clotting (coagulation) factor VIII (FVIII), which among its therapeutic applications are treating genetic diseases such as hemophilia A and those with extreme physical trauma and bleeding. By harnessing a specific protein and sugar that the microscopic water bear produces in anhydrobiosis, the researchers found that it could offer FVIII similar desiccation shields, meaning the biologic could be dehydrated and then rehydrated for use without the loss of its natural qualities. What's more, their study shows the FVIII remained stable for 10 weeks in its treated form.