An international team of researchers is working to develop an advanced wound dressing that will release antibiotics from nanocapsules when triggered by disease-causing bacteria. The dressing is designed to begin treatment before infection takes hold, and to change color in order to alert healthcare professionals of the presence of infection. The Bacteriosafe project is collaboration of 11 partners across Europe and Australia, including chemists, cell biologists, clinicians and engineers, coordinated by Dr. Renate Förch, at the Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research.
University of Bath project leader, Dr Toby Jenkins, explained that “the dressing is only triggered by disease-causing bacteria, which produce toxins that break open capsules containing the antibiotics and dye. This means that antibiotics are only released when needed, which reduces the risk of the evolution of new antibiotic-resistant super-bugs such as MRSA.”
It is anticipated that the technology will be useful for the treatment of burn patients, particularly children, in whom infections can lead to potentially fatal toxic shock syndrome. Other potential applications include use on ulcers or battlefield injuries.
Fabric coated with the nanocapsules has already been shown to react specifically to harmful bacteria; the next phase of the project involves integrating the color change technology into a suitable dressing and looking at cost effective production methods. Via University of Bath
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Edited by Erin Monda
By J.M. Graham ,