Science Connections

A sensor that measures the amount of active antibodies in the blood stream is paving the way for personalised treatments for bacterial diseases, perhaps spelling the end of the superbug era.

3 March 2014, from Science Alert (Australia)
Via science connections

Researchers have developed a new method involving the use of nano-sized levers as sensors to rapidly measure the level of antibiotic molecules in the blood as well as how effective the antibiotic is at dealing with the bacteria.  This could pave the way for personalised treatment of bacterial diseases.

“Some of our most effective antibiotics are like termites eating away at the walls of a wooden house – they attack bacterial cell walls so they eventually collapse,” said Professor Matt Cooper, from The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience.

“But competing molecules in the blood can bind to antibiotics and prevent them from working, meaning there are less molecules free to exert force on bacterial cell walls.

“The sensor we developed, one billionth of a metre in size, can detect the bending that occurs in a cell wall when it is assaulted by antibiotics.  The sensor enables us to measure how many antibiotic molecules are free in the blood to attack bacteria and treat the infection based upon how much force they exert onto the wall.”

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Superbug MRSA Image: DTKUTOO/Shutterstock

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    I am always thrilled to see possiblities to avert the suberbug-doomsday~
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