The increasing antibiotic resistance of bacteria is a serious problem of our time. Hospital germs in particular have developed strains against which practically every current antibiotic is ineffective.
In the battle against resistant microbes, a team at the University of Münster (Germany) is now pursuing a new approach involving photodynamic therapy, which is a technique that is already being used in the treatment of certain forms of cancer and macular degeneration. Upon irradiation with light, an agent produces oxygen in a special activated form that is highly toxic to cells.
As the researchers led by Cristian A. Strassert and Luisa De Cola report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, they would like to use specially developed nanomaterials that bind specifically to bacterial cells to mark them and kill them under irradiation.
The researchers use nanoparticles made of a special porous material (zeolite L). The particles are modified so they carry a coating of amino groups. These bind preferentially to the surfaces of bacterial cells by means of electrostatic attraction and hydrogen bonds. The researchers put a green fluorescent dye into the channels of the mineral, making the bacteria visible under a fluorescence microscope.
The actual “weapons” are photosensitizers anchored on the surface of the nanoparticles. When these molecules are irradiated with light of the right wavelength, they absorb the light energy and transfer it to oxygen molecules found in the surroundings, for example in infected tissue. The oxygen is excited and enters into what is known as the singlet state, in which it is highly reactive and attacks biomolecules – but only in the immediate area in which the singlet oxygen was generated. In this case, the location is right on the bacterial cell where the mineral particle is bound.
The scientists tested their new light-activated killer particles on antibiotic-resistant cultures of E. coli bacteria. After about two hours of irradiation, the bacteria were almost completely killed off. The team achieved comparable results with a strain of resistant gonococci. Furthermore, the researchers from Münster are also considering this material for the treatment of skin cancer. In this case, the tumor cells could be destroyed upon targeted irradiation with red light.
Author: Luisa De Cola, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (Germany), http://www.uni-muenster.de/Physik.PI/DeCola/ldc.html
Title: Photoactive Hybrid Nanomaterial for Targeting, Labeling, and Killing Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2029, 68, No. 42, 7928–7931, doi: 10.1002/anie.200902837
Luisa De Cola | Angewandte Chemie
The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona
Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research