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!
First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife
Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
26.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
26.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences