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Silica smart bombs deliver knock-out to bacteria
Date:2/25/2008

ration 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.


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Contact: Clinton Colmenares
clinton_colmenares@unc.edu
919-843-1991
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Source:Eurekalert

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