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New bacteria-resistant materials discovered
Date:8/13/2012

we have discovered a new group of structurally related materials that dramatically reduce the attachment of pathogenic bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli). We could not have found these materials using the current understanding of bacteria-surface interactions. The technology developed with the help of MIT means that hundreds of materials could be screened simultaneously to reveal new structure-property relationships. In total thousands of materials were investigated using this high throughput materials discovery approach leading to the identification of novel materials resisting bacterial attachment. This could not have been achieved using conventional techniques."

These new materials prevent infection by stopping biofilm formation at the earliest possible stage when the bacteria first attempt to attach themselves to the device. In the laboratory experts were able to reduce the numbers of bacteria by up to 96.7per cent compared with a commercially available silver containing catheter and were effective at resisting bacterial attachment in a mouse implant infection model. By preventing bacterial attachment the body's own immune system can kill the bacteria before they have time to generate biofilms.

Ted Bianco, Director of Technology Transfer at the Wellcome Trust, said: "Infections caused by microbial biofilms binding to the surface of implants often cannot be treated with conventional antibiotics. This makes them a significant challenge in patient care, particularly for those with inserted medical devices like catheters, heart valves and prosthetic joints. The discovery of these new polymers is a great example of how advances in materials science are being exploited in our efforts to improve the performance of critical medical components. Just as materials science gave us the non-stick saucepan, so we look forward to the day of the 'non-stick' medical device."

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Contact: Lindsay Brooke
lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk
44-115-951-5751
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert  

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