Wednesday, 16 October 2019 11:15

Nanomesh drug delivery may help in fight against antibiotic resistance

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Melanie Fuller holding a piece of mesh containing nanoparticles of the two drugs. Melanie Fuller holding a piece of mesh containing nanoparticles of the two drugs. Supplied

Scientists have found a way of fabricating nanomesh so that it can be used as a drug delivery system for antibiotics, in what could be a step in the fight against global antibiotic resistance.

A statement from Flinders University said its researchers, along with Japanese collaborators, had produced a nanomesh that was able to deliver drug treatments.

Flinders doctoral student Melanie Fuller tested the effectiveness of the nanomesh for a fortnight after two antibiotics, Colistin and Vancomycin, were added to the mesh with gold nanoparticles.

Ingo Koeper, an associate professor at the Flinders Institute for Nanoscience and Technology, said pieces of mesh 20cm by 15 cm were produced, containing fibres that were 200 nanometres in diameter.

A process called electrospinning was used to produce these meshes, with parameters being optimised to ensure consistency of the mesh material.

"In order to deliver the antibiotics to a specific area, the antibiotics were embedded into the mesh produced using a technique called electrospinning, which has gained considerable interest in the biomedical community as it offers promise in many applications including wound management, drug delivery and antibiotic coatings,” Koeper said.

He added that the results also suggested dosages could be reduced when compared to traditional drugs; this could diminish potential side effects and complications.

“Although the dosage is reduced compared to an oral dosage, the concentration of antibiotics delivered to the infection site can still be higher, ensuring the bacteria cannot survive which will reduce instances of resistance," Koeper said.

“This research, as a proof of concept, suggests an opportunity for fabricating nanomesh which contain gold nanoparticles as a drug treatment for antibiotics.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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