Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New bacteria-resistant materials discovered

Date:
August 13, 2012
Source:
University of Nottingham
Summary:
Using state-of-the-art technology, scientists at have discovered a new class of polymers that are resistant to bacterial attachment. These new materials could lead to a significant reduction in hospital infections and medical device failures.

View of samples inside Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry.
Credit: Courtesy of The University of Nottingham

Using state-of-the-art technology, scientists at The University of Nottingham have discovered a new class of polymers that are resistant to bacterial attachment. These new materials could lead to a significant reduction in hospital infections and medical device failures.

Related Articles


Medical device associated infections can lead to systemic infections or device failure, costing the NHS 1bn a year. Affecting many commonly used devices including urinary and venous catheters -- bacteria form communities known as biofilms. This 'strength in numbers approach' protects them against the bodies' natural defences and antibiotics.

Experts in the Schools of Pharmacy and Molecular Medical Sciences, have shown that when the new materials are applied to the surface of medical devices they repel bacteria and prevent them forming biofilms.

The research was led by Professor Morgan Alexander, and Professor Martyn Davies in the School of Pharmacy and Professor Paul Williams in the School of Molecular Medical Sciences.

The novel materials had to be found using a new technique

Researchers believed there were new materials that could resist bacteria better but they had to find them. This meant screening thousands of different chemistries and testing their reaction to bacteria -- a challenge which was beyond conventional materials development or any of our current understanding of the interaction of micro-organisms with surfaces.

The discovery has been made with the help of experts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) -- who initially developed the process by which thousands of unique polymers can now be screened simultaneously.

Professor Alexander said: "This is a major scientific breakthrough -- 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."

Bacterial attachment and subsequent biofilm formation are key challenges to the performance of medical devices. This is early stage research but the initial results are very promising. The next stage of this research will be to develop the manufacture of these coatings to enable the performance of these materials to be assessed clinically and the inventors are in early stage discussions with a number of medical device companies.

The results of the 1.3m four year research project supported by a Translation Award from the Wellcome Trust, have been published on August 12, 2012, in the academic journal Nature Biotechnology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Nottingham. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrew L Hook, Chien-Yi Chang, Jing Yang, Jeni Luckett, Alan Cockayne, Steve Atkinson, Ying Mei, Roger Bayston, Derek J Irvine, Robert Langer, Daniel G Anderson, Paul Williams, Martyn C Davies, Morgan R Alexander. Combinatorial discovery of polymers resistant to bacterial attachment. Nature Biotechnology, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nbt.2316

Cite This Page:

University of Nottingham. "New bacteria-resistant materials discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120813074017.htm>.
University of Nottingham. (2012, August 13). New bacteria-resistant materials discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120813074017.htm
University of Nottingham. "New bacteria-resistant materials discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120813074017.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins