Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers use tiny 3-D spheres to combat tuberculosis

07.02.2017

Researchers at the University of Southampton have developed a new 3D system to study human infection in the laboratory.

The team, which includes infection researchers, engineers and bioinformaticians in Southampton and University College London, have used an electrostatic encapsulation technique to make tiny 3D spheres within which human cells are infected with tuberculosis (TB) bacteria to generate conditions that more closely reflect events in patients.


Image attached shows the 3-D spheres infected with TB.

Credit: University of Southampton

The model allows the researchers to further investigate what happens in a human body when TB develops, with a long term aim of identifying new antibiotic treatments and vaccines. The research was funded by the Medical Research Council and is published in mBio and eLife.

Professor Paul Elkington, who leads the Southampton TB research group, commented: "We believe this is a really exciting development for the field of tuberculosis research. The 3D sphere can be created with a collagen matrix so it is more like a human lung.

This produces an environment which allows particular antibiotics that are important in treating patients to kill the infection, which they cannot do in other 2D model systems. This system will help us speed up the process of finding treatments and vaccines for human tuberculosis, an infection that kills 1.8 million people per year."

Additionally the 3D spheres are able to prolong experiments for up to three weeks, more than four times longer than standard 2D model systems. This gives researchers more information about how the infection develops and the effect of different interventions over time.

The next phase of the research will be in collaboration with the African Health Research Institute in Durban, in a project being funded by an MRC Global Challenges Research Fund Foundation Award worth £350,000. Durban has a very high incidence of TB and ideal laboratory infrastructure to introduce the 3D model to study cells from patients at high risk of tuberculosis.

Professor Elkington added: "We are delighted to extend our research and have the opportunity to combine diverse expertise to develop an advanced laboratory system that can be applied to a wide range on infections, especially the infections that are prevalent in resource-poor countries. We will use our 3D model to integrate engineering and biological approaches with clinical specimens to create an entirely new system of studying infection."

Dr Al Leslie, of the Africa Health Research Institute, said: "There is a huge amount to be gained from infectious disease biologists and engineers working together, as they push each other out of their comfort zones and force a new perspective on the problem being tackled. This grant is the start of what we hope to be a long-term collaboration that will bring real innovation to our TB research programmes and speed up the pace of discovery to fight this deadly epidemic."

Becky Attwood | EurekAlert!

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>