Dr Elaine Ferguson from Cardiff University's School of Dentistry has utilised a new technique which attaches tiny nano-sized biodegradable polymers to the antibiotic drug - colistin.
Use of the drug colistin to fight infection has been limited as it is known to be toxic to the kidneys and nerves despite the fact that it has been found to be effective against new multi-drug resistant bacteria, like NDM-1.
Cardiff University scientists believe the new technique will help under-used antibiotic drugs like colistin to be used to fight against the spread of life-threatening bacterial infections.
"The technology we've developed came as a direct response to an urgent medical need for better antibiotics to safely treat patients with life threatening infections. Very few new antimicrobial drugs have emerged despite intensive research, with only two new classes of antibiotics developed in the last 30 years," according to Dr Ferguson who worked alongside Cardiff University's Professor David Thomas and Professor Timothy Walsh to develop the technique.
"Our new approach allows existing effective therapies to be improved to help patients with severe infections who may otherwise suffer significant side effects after treatment.
"The polymer shields the drug molecule making it less toxic to the body while, at sites of infection, there is an enzyme present which removes the polymer- specifically activating the drug where it is needed" she added.
The research was supported by The Severnside Alliance for Translational Research (SARTRE) - a major collaboration between Cardiff and Bristol Universities designed to translate medical research to improve lives.
The seedcorn funding for the research from SARTRE, through the Medical Research Council's Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme, helped the project progress quickly to the stage where additional grant funding has been secured.
Ernest Azzopardi, a plastic surgeon studying for his PhD with the group, has also been awarded a Welsh Clinical Academic Training Fellowship and a grant from the EU European Social Fund to continue the work initiated with the seedcorn funding. The team includes materials scientists Dr Peter Griffiths from Cardiff University's School of Chemistry and Professor Terence Cosgrove from the University of Bristol, who have recently secured funding with Dr Ferguson to undertake neutron scattering at the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble (France).
Professor David Thomas, who worked alongside Dr Ferguson on developing the new technique, added: "The interdisciplinary nature of our work in drug delivery allows the possibility of developing truly innovative approaches to the management of human disease".
Dr Corinne Squire | EurekAlert!
Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells
22.08.2017 | National University Health System
Biochemical 'fingerprints' reveal diabetes progression
22.08.2017 | Umea University
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine
22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.08.2017 | Life Sciences