NTU development may help fight dangerous bacteria
Nottingham Trent University
Nottingham Trent University (NTU) has developed a method of making very small particles of gold with an antibiotic shown to neutralise dangerous bacteria such as Escherichia Coli (E Coli).
The findings - published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry - explain how the team at Nottingham has managed to control the production the nanoparticles by using the antibiotic Cefaclor as part of a chemical reaction.
This results in perfectly spherical particles of gold, no more than 80nm in size, which actually retain the antibiotic properties of the Cefaclor.
In tests, the team was able to impregnate glass surfaces with the nanoparticles, allowing them to demonstrate how robust the material was.
It proved highly effective in acidic and alkaline environments, as well as retaining its potency against E Coli after repeated use.
When examined under a microscope, it was revealed that the gold within the nanoparticles actually creates 'holes' in the cell walls of the bacteria, thereby weakening its resistance to the antibiotics.
The ability to coat particles of it with antibiotics in this way could lead to the development of a range of new materials.
'The material could be coated onto hospital door handles and windows to fight the spread of infection, or even be impregnated into bandages and dressings for wounds,' said Prof Carole Perry from Nottingham Trent University's School of Science and Technology.
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