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!
Hunting pathogens at full force
22.03.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung
A 155 carat diamond with 92 mm diameter
22.03.2017 | Universität Augsburg
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences