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New Melanin-based Eco- and Enterosorbent


Melanin-based Eco- and Enterosorbent – New Mean for Obtaining Ecologically Clean Livestock Production

Tech Area / Field

  • AGR-VTH/Vaccines and Theraupetics/Agriculture
  • BIO-IND/Industrial Biotechnology/Biotechnology
  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Genisaretskaya S V

Leading Institute
B.I. Stepanov Institute of Physics, Belarus, Minsk

Supporting institutes

  • S.N. Vyshelessky Research Institute of Veterinary Medicine, Belarus, Minsk reg., Kuntsevshchina


  • University of Illinois, USA, IL, Chicago\nFriedrich-Schiller-Universitat / Institut fur Ernahrungswissenschaften, Germany, Jena\nInstitut fur Tierarzneimittel Berlin GmbH, Germany, Berlin\nKorea Institute of Science and Technology / Medicinal Chemistry Research Center, Korea, Seoul

Project summary

Rapid technogenic development of the world community is accompanied by a number of negative processes associated with uncontrolled environmental pollution and, as a result, a negative impact on the health of animals and people. And there is a direct relationship between the state of the environment and the quality of food in the following trophic chain: soils, water, air – plant – animal – food – man.

The epizootic examination and analysis of the diseases and loss of cattle shows that the technogenic pollutions of the environment, especially chemical and radioactive ones have a negative impact on the resistance of animals to diseases and their reproductive function. The presence in animal food of various kinds of ecotoxicants, such as heavy metals, radionuclides, residues of chemical weed-killers and pet-killers used in agriculture, mycotoxins and other potentially dangerous chemical substances leads to the disturbance of the immune state of the organism and the development of various kinds of toxicoses causing functional and structural changes in the organism of animals.

It should be noted that among the noncontagious diseases of young farm animals the leading position is occupied by toxicoses of various etiologies, which cause a substantial economic damage to animal husbandry: money expenditures and labor input to treat sick animals, loss of animals, as well as a decrease in their productivity in their subsequent life periods. This situation is observed in all fields of animal husbandry, including such highly profitable fields as industrial poultry farming and fur breeding.

The common and specific methods of prophylaxis and treatment of farm animals are not always effective.

All of these call for new effective methods for eliminating ecotoxicants from the environment as well from the organism of humans and animals (Trace Elements in Man and Animals - TEMA 8”, Editors: M. Anke, D. Meissner & C. F. Mills. Verlag Media Touristik, 1993) is acute, especially take into account the fact that final part of trophic chain is human used the stock-raising products as food. Today one of the most important problem of sustainable development is obtaining ecologically clean products of animal husbandry of a high sanitary quality.

The leading role in solving this problem is played by sorbents of various nature. The binding capacity of sorbent offers the possibility to reduce the transfer of heavy metals into the food chain. The existing technologies permit obtaining a wide range of materials, of both synthetic and natural origin, which exhibit sorption and ion-exchange properties (Sorbents and their Clinical Applications. New York, 1980). Nevertheless, the development of new, cheaper and more effective sorbents with a wider spectrum of action to expand the market of these materials is an urgent problem of today.

To solve this problem, a new perspective sorbent of plant origin whose distinguishing feature is the presence in it of natural pigment – melanin – has been obtained.

As a result of many-year basic research, the authors of the Project have obtained evidence of the fact that the melanin pigments entering into the composition of the phytosorbent perfectly protect biological objects against all kinds of damaging factors of the environment, such as ultraviolet and ionizing radiation, radionuclides, heavy metals, free radicals, organic toxic substances, etc. These studies have resulted in dozen’s of scientific papers and a scientific discovery (N 397) has been registered.

On the basis of these results a method has been developed for obtaining a melanin-containing sorbent from multi-ton agricultural waste. The melanin-containing phytosorbent is a new sorbent of natural origin which has no analogs in the world. It has been found that the phytosorbent is a compound complex containing melanin, lignin, cellulose and other organic compounds the combination of which determines the uniqueness of its properties, namely:

– high sorption indices;

– a wide spectrum of sorption action (the ptytosorbent is capable of adsorbing and neutralizing various substances such as heavy metals, radionuclides, fats, organic solvents, cancerogens, etc.);
– high chemical purity;
– absence of toxicity;
– antiradical and antioxidant activity;
– low ash content and easy to bury.

The phytosorbent is cheap, available, it can be easily obtained in large quantities from waste of ever-renewed agricultural raw materials.

From comparative analysis of scientific-technological and patent documentation it is seen that sorbents on the basis of vegetable raw materials have a number of important advantages over inorganic, animal or microbe sorbents. They are not toxic, have no allergic effects, are easy to bury, have high sorption indices, are storage stable, etc. However, there is very little information about phytosorbents in the literature because of their commercial value.

It has also been established in experiments in vivo that the phytosorbent effectively removes from the organism of animals various potentially dangerous chemical substances (mercury, cadmium, arsenic, etc.) and produces a positive effect on the growth and development of animal, in particular, it considerably increases the intensity of immune response to vaccination against the Newcastle disease in chickens. It was shown the high prophylactic activity of phytosorbent under gastroenterities of young cattles and hepatities dystrophy of pigs.

The foregoing points to prospective use of the new phytosorbent as a protective means for the health of man and animals. To this end, it is necessary to carry out applied investigations in accordance with the existing regulations which permit its practical use in veterinary medicine and animal husbandry.

Proceeding from the results obtained by authors, within the framework of this Project, it is suggested to develop new medicines (tablets and powder) and prophylactic means (in the form of a food additive for animals) on the basis of the melanin-containing phytosorbent for protecting animals and humans against various endo- and exotoxicants and obtaining ecologically clean products of animal husbandry of a high sanitary guality and furs of a high class.

The final goal of the Project is to improve the life quality of people living under technogenic contamination. It will be attained by putting on the market of environmental protection new products:

– an enterosorbent for wide veterinary use as treatment and prophylactic means;

– a food additive for animal husbandry with the aim of preventing toxicoses of various etiologies, increasing the resistivity, saving the number of live-stock, and obtaining ecologically clean products of animal husbandry and poultry farming of a high sanitary quality (meat, eggs, milk);
– development of a new means for promoting reduction of the ripening period of furs of fur-bearing animals and obtaining furs of a high class;
– a new ecosorbent capable of actively binds and removes from the organism heavy metals, toxic chemical substances and endo-toxins for wide use in veterinary medicine at acute poisoning with chemical substances as well as for use as a prophylactic means for the animal population of areas with a high level of chemical and radioactive contamination;

Realization of the ISTC’s objectives and tasks:

The ultimate goal of the proposed Project is to improve the life quality of people by reducing the influence of environmental contamination on man’s health. The realization of the goal within the framework of the proposed Project complies with the ISTC’s objectives and tasks in the best possible way:

– supports applied research and technology development in the field of protection of human's and animals' health from adverse environmental effects, contributing thereby to the solution of national and international problems connected with environmental protection;

– contributes to sustainable development of society;
– it provides an opportunity for a large group of weapons scientists from Belarus to use their knowledge and skills for peaceful purposes;
– stimulates integration of Belarusian scientists into international scientific community;
– promotes the adaptation of the Project participants to the conditions of market economy.

The countries financing the Project will have an opportunity to use technical products of the Project.

Fields of application of the results of investigations:

– industrial animal breeding, including such a highly profitable fields as poultry farming and fur breeding for preventing toxicoses of different etiologies and obtaining ecologically clean products of animal breeding of a high sanitary quality (eggs, meat, milk);

– veterinary medicine – the use of the enterosorbent at acute poisoning with various chemical substances, exo- and endotoxicants, at bad septic states, etc.;
– areas of ecological catastrophes – as a protective means against various kinds of exotoxicants;
– areas with a high level of technogenic contamination – as a prophylactic means capable of binding and removing from the organism heavy metals, e.g. cadmium, mercury, lead, and other toxic chemical substances, etc.;
– industrial breeding of animals for furs with the aim of increasing the profitability of the field by reducing the fur ripening period and obtaining fur breeding product, furs of a high class.

Scientific significance of the results to be obtained consists in broadening of fundamental knowledge in the area of sorption processes in respect of potentially danger chemical agents of mutagenic, cancerogenic etc. action in conditions in vitro and in vivo. On the basis of investigation results the possibility of phytosorbent application as a sorption material in veterinary medicine will be substantiated.

Practical significance of the project results consists in preparation to new commercial production – a protective mean of animal organism from adverse environmental effects (tablet, powder, food additive).

Project Participants.

Since the work is interdisciplinary and will be carried out at the junction of sciences, the team of participants will include highly qualified specialists in the field of biophysics and biochemistry, physiology, toxicology, optical spectroscopy, pharmacology, veterinary.

The weapons scientists have wide experience in studying molecular mechanisms of physico-chemical and medico-biological systems with the use of original methods and technologies.

The Project’s duration will be three years. In the first two years a complex of experimental and medico-biological investigations aimed at studying the efficiency of binding by the phytosorbent potentially dangerous chemical substances will be carried out in vitro and in vivo conditions in accordance with the standards of Veterinary Bio-Pharmcologycal Council of the Republic of Belarus, as well as the influence of the phytosorbent on the physiological status and immunobiological reactivity of the organism of animal will be investigated, the influence of the phytosorbent on the quality of products of animal farming (eggs, meat, milk) and appraisal indexes of a fur-bearing animals, too, will be studied.

These investigations will form the basis for developing and producing, in the third year, samples of commercial products: the know-how for manufacturing medicinal forms (tablet, powder), and the food additive on the basis of the melanin-containing phytosorbentand new means for improving of an appraisal indexes of a fur-bearing animals.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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