Navigation Links
Silica smart bombs deliver knock-out to bacteria

CHAPEL HILL Bacteria mutate for a living, evading antibiotic drugs while killing tens of thousands of people in the United States each year. But as concern about drug-resistant bacteria grows, one novel approach under way at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill seeks to thwart the bug without a drug by taking a cue from nature.

Mark Schoenfisch and his lab of analytical chemists at UNC have created nano-scale scaffolds made of silica and loaded with nitric oxide (NO) an important molecule in mammals that plays a role in regulating blood pressure, neurotransmission and fighting bacterial infections, among other vital functions.

There was evidence that nitric oxide kills bacteria, but the difficult part involved storing it in a manner such that it could be delivered to bacterial cells, said Evan Hetrick, a doctoral student in Schoenfischs lab and lead author on a paper in the February issue of the American Chemical Societys journal ACS Nano.

While the body constantly produces NO, and can ramp up its production to fight infection, sometimes it cant produce enough to mount a sufficient defense. Previous research using small molecules to deliver NO hit roadblocks controlling the release of the compound was difficult and the molecules were potentially toxic to healthy cells in the body.

With silica scaffolds, nitric oxide stores easily and we could very carefully control the release, said Schoenfisch, an associate professor of chemistry in UNCs College of Arts and Sciences.

Schoenfisch, Hetrick and their colleagues tested their silica scaffolds head-to-head with small molecules against the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is commonly found in burn and other wound infections.

NO delivered by both methods completely killed the bacteria. But the silica nanoparticles delivered the NO right to the bacterias doorstep. In contrast, the small molecules released NO indiscriminately, and the concentration of NO is lost as it makes its way toward bacterial cells.

With the silica particles, more NO actually reached the inside of the cells, enhancing the efficacy of the nanoparticles compared to the small molecule. So, the overall amount of NO needed to kill bacteria is much less with silica nanoparticles, Schoenfisch said. And, with small molecules, youre left with potentially toxic byproducts, Schoenfisch said. Using mouse cells, they proved that the silica nanoparticles werent toxic to healthy cells, but the small molecules were.

Schoenfisch has a history of success with NO-releasing materials. His lab has successfully created a variety of coatings for different biomedical applications. Such materials hold promise as anti-infective coatings and as methods to improve the bodys integration of biological implants such as hip or knee joints and implanted sensors that relay various biological measures, such as blood glucose or oxygen concentrations.

The amount and rate of NO release are easily modified and controlled by using these different silica nanoparticles. Release rates are a function of the precursors used to make the nanoparticles, Schoenfisch said. It depends entirely on how we build the silica structures.

Future research will include studying additional bacterial strains, active targeting, preferential uptake and biodistribution studies.


Contact: Clinton Colmenares
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Related medicine news :

1. OSHA Establishes a New National Emphasis Program on Silica
2. New Smart Technology Makes Patient Data Collection Easier, More Efficient
3. New Survey Shows Americans are Still Concerned About Food Safety, Yet Still Not Smart About What They Like to Eat
4. Delta Dental of Illinois Introduces Smile Smart For Your Health
5. Toddler Study Proves Humans Outsmart Apes
6. SMART Association Becomes Healthcare Council Member of Smart Card Alliance
7. Smart insulin nanostructures pass feasibility test, UT study reports
8. New Oral-B(R) Triumph(TM) With SmartGuide(TM) is the First Power Toothbrush With a Wireless Display
9. Pasta Gets Smarter - and Healthier
10. Healthy Living Made Easy with New Diabetes Foodsmart e-Newsletter
11. Oridion Introduces New Smart Capnography System for Improved Patient Safety
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Autism Speaks, ... the global movement driven by social media and the generosity of people around the ... encourage their social media networks to give – and share the personal stories behind ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... All her life, Don Peck’s mother wondered if she was a descendant ... have been. After a 25-year search for information, Don and his aunt discovered that ... last name. Turns out, it was Don’s father who was descended from not one, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... Dehydration, defined as a loss of body water content, can make people ... heat stroke and death will quickly follow. A normal human body is 70 percent ... and structure requires water to function properly. Kleyne, who believes that medical research will ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Dublin, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 ... ... Community College District , the only authorized OSHA Training Institute Education Center in ... workplace injuries during the holiday season’s major sales events. As the volume ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Add a fresh touch to this year’s ... affordable way to bring long-lasting style and cheer to any space. , Holiday plants ... air and keep on giving all year long. , “Holiday plants make a room ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO) ... of Clinical Services, Education and Human Resources will be presenting ... Oncology Drugs: Health Plan Strategies for a Dynamic Market" on ... Fenrick , a consultant with the Cambridge Advisory Group, where ... The webinar will discuss the rapid growth ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- st  Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the ... place in Chicago on Nov-29 th ... st  Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society ... Chicago on Nov-29 th through Dec-4 ... Dynamics will present its revolutionary whole body CZT digital SPECT/CT solution ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... DELRAY BEACH, Fla. , Nov. 24, 2015 ... company , has recently announced the launch of ... --> ... --> --> ... or for during travel and vacation, just got ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: