2005 Volume 54 Issue 4 Pages 573-580
Background: Avoidance of allergens is one of the most effective treatments of allergenic diseases, including pollinosis. Although various masks and goggles for pollinosis sufferers are commercially available, little work has been done on preventing adhesion of pollen to the human body and clothes. We have examined the effect of polymer coating on adhesion of cedar pollen to skin, hair and fabrics, and found that a lecithin polymer (LP), containing both cationic and anionic sites, is highly effective in reducing adhesion levels.
Methods: We evaluated the changes in electrostatic charge and frictional coefficient of sample surfaces after coating with an anionic polymer (AP), a cationic polymer (CP), a nonionic polymer (NIP), or LP (each applied by spraying 0.10% polymer solution in ethanol/water). Pollen adhesion level was evaluated by observation of the number of cedar pollen particles on video microscope (VMS) images and by quantification of cedar pollen antigen Cry j1 with a sandwich ELISA system. Adhesion of pollen to human skin or hair was also examined by VMS observation.
Results: LP-coated samples showed a significant reduction in electrostatic charge level and frictional coefficient. We presumed that these properties are closely related to the significant reduction in the adhesion level of cedar pollen or Cry j1 compared with CP, AP or NIP-coated samples. A similar effect was seen on LP-treated skin, and LP-treated waxed hair.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that coating with LP could help in the management of pollinosis by reducing the contact level of patients with cedar pollen antigens.
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