Think pollen serves no other purpose than to hasten plant reproduction and to exacerbate allergies? Think again.

Researchers from Texas Tech University are revealing in an article published in ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering that pollen shells can be cleaned out and used as a vehicle for medications or vaccines into the human body.

After several failed attempts, the team found that a process of treating the pollen with an acid before base resulted in a cleaning method that would sufficiently hollow out space in the shell of just about any pollen that was tested, including ragweed, sunflower, black alder and lamb's quarters.

To see the process of hollowing out the pollen, watch the accompanying video.

To contact the author of this article, email mdonlon@globalspec.com