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Scientists have succeeded in developing an effective method to treat the often lethal airway infections with nanoparticles that transport the antibiotics more efficiently to their destination. Mucoviscidosis, also known as cystic fibrosis, is an inherited life-threatening disorder that damages the lungs and digestive system.
The lung is so significantly damaged that patients often die or need to have a lung transplant. Permanent treatment with inhaled antibiotics plays a considerable part in this. While the treatment cannot avoid the colonisation by bacteria completely but it can keep it in check for a longer period of time. The bacteria defend themselves with a development of resistance, but with the growth of so-called biofilms underneath the layer of mucus, which mostly blocks off the bacteria in the lower rows like a protective shield. Know if antibiotic resistance can be reversed.
'Typically, the drugs are applied by inhalation in the body. Then they make a complicated way through the body to the pathogens and many of them don't make it to their destination,' Dagmar Fischer, Chair for Pharmaceutical Technology at the University of Jena, in Germany, said in a statement. To overcome the strong defence, the researchers encapsulated the active agents, like the antibiotic Tobramycin, in a polyester polymer. Here are few facts about antibiotic resistance, you need to know.
Thus, they created a nanoparticle which they then tested in the laboratory where they beforehand had simulated the present lung situation, in a static as well as in a dynamic state, i.e. with simulated flow movements. The scientists discovered that their nanoparticle travels more easily through the sponge-like net of the mucus layer and is finally able to kill off the pathogens without any problems. Moreover, an additionally applied coating of polyethylenglycol makes it nearly invisible for the immune system. 'All materials of a nanocarrier are biocompatible, biodegradable, nontoxic and therefore not dangerous for humans,' the researchers noted.
Image source: Shutterstock
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