Customized Quantum Dots Allow Scientists to Use Light-Activated Nanoparticles to kill over 90% drug-resistant Bacteria

Customized Quantum Dots Allow Scientists to Use Light-Activated Nanoparticles to kill over 90% drug-resistant Bacteria

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Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have come up with a new nanoparticle treatment that can be effective in combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria – Salmonella, E. Coli, and Staphylococcus, based on results in a laboratory environment. In a very significant discovery it was found that these nanoparticles killed 92 percent of drug-resistant bacterial cells while leaving the other cells intact!

Scientists to Use Light-Activated #Nanoparticles to kill over 90% drug-resistant Bacteria Click To Tweet

The treatment consists of light-activated therapeutic nanoparticles called “‘quantum dots”. These extremely small particles, which resemble the semiconductors used in electronics, are about 20,000 times smaller than a human hair, and when excited by light they prove deadly to drug-resistant bacterial cells.

“By shrinking these semiconductors down to the nanoscale, we’re able to create highly specific interactions within the cellular environment that only target the infection,” said Prashant Nagpal, senior author of the study published in Nature Materials.

Until now, the use of nanoparticles had caused indiscriminate damage to all the cells – not just the bacterial cells.  So this find is quite significant.  In this process the quantum dots can be customized to particular infections because of their photoexcited (activated by light) properties.  How will these nanoparticles hold up to the ever evolving bacterial cells?

“While we can always count on these superbugs to adapt and fight the therapy, we can quickly tailor these quantum dots to come up with a new therapy and therefore fight back faster in this evolutionary race,” said Nagpal.

Customizing of quantum dots, therefore, is the most significant element of this treatment.

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