Researchers paving the way to treat antibiotic resistant bacteria.
A team of scientists from the institute of Bio-engineering and Nanotechnology of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research and IBM have produced a new "synthetic molecule that can target and kill five multi drug-resistant bacteria. The polymer is non-toxic and could enable an entirely new class of therapeutics to address the growing problem of antibiotic-resistant superbugs."
Guanidinium-functionalized polycarbonates were created and found to be biodegradable and non-toxic. The positively charged synthetic polymer enters a living body and binds to the certain bacteria cell by homing in on a microbial membrane's related negative charge. Once attached the polymer then crosses the cell membrane and triggers the solidification of proteins and DNA in the cell which kills bacteria.
Researchers tested the new molecules on mice and were successful in removing five commonly known superbugs found in hospitals world wide. Following multiple treatments the bacteria displayed no signs of developing a resistance or signs of toxicity.
"In 2016, we demonstrated the efficacy of synthetic polymers to combat deadly viral diseases," explains James Hedrick, from IBM Research. "The current research for treating bacterial infections rounds out our ability to someday treat a spectrum of infectious diseases with a single, new type of mechanism without the onset of resistance."
The team is currently on to the next phase of research in works to develop the technology into a specific antimicrobial treatment that can be tested clinically in humans and ultimately become a new way to treat infection.
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Haridy, R. (2018, March 06). New synthetic polymer kills antibiotic-resistant superbugs from the inside out. Retrieved March 13, 2018, from https://newatlas.com/synthetic-molecule-polymer-treat-resistant-bacteria/53676/?utm_source=Gizmag%2BSubscribers&utm_campaign=d6e83166fd-UA-2235360-4&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-d6e83166fd-76698122