In the minds of many, iPads and mini notebooks are among the “wonders” of the new age of computing.
While this may be quite true, the technology that allows for computer chips to become smaller is made possible by the carbon nanotube – a material also proven to be harmful to workers handling it over long periods of time. The good news is that researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have identified that the enzyme myeloperoxidase (MPO) can reduce the harmful effects of carbon nanotubes to exposed individuals. Lee Biosolutions, one of the forerunners in MPO production, is increasing its production of the enzyme to meet the demand these new findings will create.
According to Lee Biosolutions president, Burton Lee, carbon nanotubes are often referred to as a wonder material for many household items aside from electronics and compact computing devices, such as components in cars and anti-wrinkle chemicals in clothing. While not all nanotubes are proven dangerous, some behave much like asbestos in the lungs. The use of carbon nanotubes has significantly increased as electronics and plastics have become more prevalent, and the threat to exposed workers can lead to cancer 30 to 40 years down the road.
MPO is a peroxidase enzyme, most abundantly present in neutrophil granulocytes (a subtype of white blood cells). MPO has a heme pigment, which causes its green color in secretions rich in neutrophils, such as pus and some forms of mucus. In the human body, MPO produces hypochlorous acid (HOCl) from hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and chloride anion (Cl-) during the neutrophil's respiratory burst, and requires heme as a cofactor. Hypochlorous acid is cytotoxic, so the MPO is used by the neutrophil to kill bacteria and other pathogens.
“Our native human myeloperoxidase (MPO) enzyme is already being used in cardiac and autoimmune assays in research worldwide. Demand for MPO will continue to increase as exposure to and handling of carbon nanotubes increases. We have an opportunity to counteract the many health issues we are just beginning to face, and Lee Biosolutions is prepared with continuous, increased production of MPO.” said Lee.
For over 30 years, Lee Biosolutions has been providing proteins, enzymes and other materials to research facilities around the country that work to advance the healthcare industry. By providing Solutions on Demand, Lee Biosolutions has become the preferred source for materials such as myeloperoxidase (MPO).