A golden opportunity for fighting infection

Posted on: 8/5/2016 9
A golden opportunity for fighting infection

A team at Nottingham Trent University have made a nanoparticle breakthrough in the war against infection

 Scientists have reported new findings in the development of anti-bacterial materials that could revolutionise the fight against infections.  The team at Nottingham Trent University have developed a method of making very small particles of gold with an antibiotic, which when tested, were shown to be extremely potent in neutralising dangerous bacteria such as Escherichia Coli (E Coli).

The findings - published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry - explain how the team has managed to control the production of very small gold ‘nanoparticles’ by using the antibiotic ‘Cefaclor’ as part of a chemical reaction.  This results in perfectly spherical particles of gold, no more than 80 nanometers in size, which actually retain the antibiotic properties of the Cefaclor. 

In tests, the team were able to impregnate glass surfaces with the nanoparticles, allowing them to demonstrate just how robust the material was.  It proved highly effective in both acidic and alkaline environments as well as retaining its potency against E Coli after repeated uses.

When examined under a microscope it was revealed that the gold within the nanoparticles actually creates ‘holes’ in the cell walls of the bacteria, thereby weakening its resistance to the antibiotics. The ability to coat particles of it with antibiotics in this way could lead to the development of a wide range of innovative new materials.

Professor Carole Perry from Nottingham Trent University’s School of Science and Technology, said: “What we’ve managed to do has the potential for use in a wide range of applications.  The material could be coated onto hospital door handles and windows to fight the spread of infection, or even be impregnated into bandages and dressings for wounds.”


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