Professor Simon Carding of Leeds’ Faculty of Biological Sciences has adapted a bacteria in our own bodies to make it produce a treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Bacteria and viruses have been used before to deliver drugs in this way, but Professor Carding has solved the major problem with this kind of treatment: he uses a sugar to ‘switch’ the bacteria on and off. By eating the sugar, a patient will set the medicine to work and then can end the treatment simply by stopping consumption of the sugar.
“Current bacteria and virus delivery systems produce their drugs non-stop, but for many treatments there is a narrow concentration range at which drugs are beneficial,” said Professor Carding. “Outside of this, the treatment can be counterproductive and make the condition worse. It’s vitally important to be able to control when and how much of the drug is administered and we believe our discovery will provide that control.”
Professor Carding has modified one of the trillions of bacteria in the human gut so that it will produce human growth factors which help repair the layer of cells lining the colon, so reducing inflammation caused by IBD. But he’s also adapted the bacteria so it only activates in the presence of a plant sugar called xylan that is found in tree bark. Xylan is naturally present in food in low concentrations, so by taking it in higher quantities, a patient will be able to produce their own medicine as and when they need it.
“The human gut has a huge number of bacteria, and this treatment simply adapts what’s there naturally to treat the disease,” said Professor Carding. “We’re already looking at using the same technique for colorectal cancer, as we believe we could modify the bacteria to produce factors that will reduce tumour growth. Treatment of diseases elsewhere in the body might also be possible as most things present in the gut can get taken into the blood stream.”
The discovery has been patented – and is being developed further with support from the University’s technology transfer partner, Techtran Group Ltd – part of the IP Group plc – and the Medical Research Council. The technique has been shown to work in vitro, but the researchers will be testing the treatment over the next twelve months in preparation for clinical trials.
Abigail Chard | campuspr Ltd
Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications
Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine