Introduction: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) comprises a range of developmental disorders diagnosed in early childhood, where their ability to communicate and interact are impaired. In the U.S., an estimated 1 in 59 children
is born with ASD and the economic burden is a staggering $268 billion per year
. Current therapies are post-symptomatic and include behavioral interventions or symptom-derived pharmacological treatments. Recently, the Van De Water group discovered that about a quarter of ASD cases are caused by maternal autoantibodies (autoAbs) that can hinder normal neurodevelopment in the fetus. Moreover, they elucidated the seven proteins targeted by these autoAbs in the fetal brain, including lactate dehydrogenase A and B (LDHA, LDHB)
. Herein, we aim to develop a System for Nanoparticle-based Autoantibody Retention and Entrapment (SNARE) prophylactic as a biomagnetic trap-for sequestration of disease-propagating Maternal Autoantibody-Related (MAR) autoAbs. Our central hypothesis is that upon intravenous injection, the iron oxide NPs surface-conjugated with autoantigens will circulate throughout the maternal vasculature, and specifically ligate MAR autoAbs, thereby limiting antibody (Ab) transport across the placenta and preventing MAR autism. Currently, investigative aims are to synthesize SNAREs, assess Ab binding capacity, cytotoxicity and immunogenicity in vitro, as well as determine in vivo distribution and maximum tolerated dose.