By some estimates, bacterial strains resistant to antibiotics — so-called superbugs — will cause more deaths than cancer by 2050.
Colorado State University biomedical and chemistry researchers are using creative tactics to subvert these superbugs and their mechanisms of invasion. In particular, they’re devising new ways to keep harmful bacteria from forming sticky matrices called biofilms — and to do it without antibiotic drugs. (more…)
Washington, D.C. — In a presentation to the American Chemical Society meeting, Ankit Agarwal, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, described an experimental approach to wound healing that could take advantage of silver’s anti-bacterial properties, while sidestepping the damage silver can cause to cells needed for healing.
Silver is widely used to prevent bacterial contamination in wound dressings, says Agarwal, “but these dressings deliver a very large load of silver, and that can kill a lot of cells in the wound.” (more…)
Researchers have developed a new infection-blocking material made of peptide-containing nanofibers that works against antibiotic-resistant bacteria and could one day be incorporated into wound dressings (ACS Infect. Dis. 2017, DOI: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.6b00173).
The approach targets bacterial quorum sensing—a mode of chemical communication used by bacteria to detect other bacteria. When they sense that enough of their kind are present, they can mount an infectious attack.
Each team has taken a different approach or tackled a unique situation or medical ailment, and that ensures a more well-rounded coverage that helps a larger pool of patients. However, few scientists have a more grand scope than Ronke Olabisi, a professor of biomedical engineering at Rutgers University.
Reaching for the stars
As the university explained in a recent press release, Olabisi is hard at work on several projects aimed at improving wound healing both on earth and during manned space missions. During space travel, especially as astronauts spend months at a time in stations, the lack of gravity has a huge impact on the human body. Muscle and bones will actually start to deteriorate, and tissues will lose much of their elasticity. Olabisi’s main goal is to study in-depth why this occurs and how to fix, and she believes she can apply much of the same knowledge to wound care on Earth.