In a study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, scientists have developed an active anti-microbial bandages.
Previous to this new approach, many wound dressings contained silver as an agent to fight against microbial activity; however, the downside to the metal was that it inhibited human cells from regrowing, and merely weeded out the weaker bacteria, leaving just the strongest strains to flourish as an even deadlier threat.
Toby Jenkins – University of Bath in England – and colleagues seek to replace the troublesome silver with pure innovation. Rather than using any metal at all, the group will pepper the sticky side of their bandages with microscopic capsule-shaped vesicles that mimic regular cells. In doing so, the bacteria in the wound attack them as if to infect the dummy cells; however, when the burst they release an antibacterial agent that kills anything nearby.
They tested the anti-bacteria infused fabric by placing them in three petri dishes with Staphylococcus, a member of the Pseudomonas group, and a harmless strain of E. coli. The results showed that neither of the two harmful bacteria grew, while the harmless E. coli flourished. This indicated that the dangerous bacteria released toxic enzymes, which triggered the microscopic land mines, whereas the innate E. coli failed to step on a single one.
With their success, the team plans on further developing the product so that the process endures for hours, instead of mere minutes.