32 Alternative Natural Rubber Sources to Hevea Natural Rubber – Quality and Allergenicity
Tuesday, October 9, 2012: 3:45 PM
Room 203-204 (Duke Energy Center)
Natural rubber demand is exceeding the global supply. This has led to significant renewed commercial and governmental interest around the world in large scale production of alternate rubber sources, especially Parthenium argentatum and Taraxacum kok-saghyz. The inter-specific differences in natural rubber composition and macromolecular structure among species indicate that T. kok-saghyz rubber is similar to Hevea brasiliensis NR in many ways. This was confirmed with testing of compounded rubber. Extensive testing using ELISA’s and immunoblots has demonstrated that T. kok-saghyz also contains several proteins that cross-react with Hevea brasiliensis antibodies that mediate Type I latex allergy. Thus, T. kok-saghyz may be considered a valuable supplement to the NR supply but not a hypoallergenic alternative. In contrast, P. argentatum rubber is distinct from the other two sources, in composition and structure. It can be used to make high performance films and contains no proteins that cross-react with antibodies raised against Hevea allergens. Thus, P. argentatum latex and rubber present an alternative natural rubber which can be used in medical applications where the high physical performance of NR is required for protection against disease transmission, without the risk of allergic reactions.