Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have developed a new material that kills bacteria and could potentially prevent infections in wounds – a specially designed hydrogel, that works against all types of bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant ones. The active substance in the new bactericidal material consists of antimicrobial peptides, small proteins which are found naturally in our immune system.
New material can protect against resistant bacteria
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have developed a new material that prevents infections in wounds – a specially designed hydrogel, that works against all types of bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant ones. The new material offers great hope for combating a growing global problem.
The World Health Organization describes antibiotic-resistant bacteria as one of the greatest threats to global health. To deal with the problem, there needs to be a shift in the way we use antibiotics, and new, sustainable medical technologies must be developed.
“After testing our new hydrogel on different types of bacteria, we observed a high level of effectiveness, including against those which have become resistant to antibiotics,” says Martin Andersson, research leader for the study and Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology.
Research and development of the material has been ongoing for many years at Martin Andersson’s group at Chalmers, growing in scope along the way, with a particular focus on the possibilities for wound care. Now, the important results are published as a scientific article in the journal ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering.
The main purpose of the studies so far has been to explore new medical technology solutions to help reduce the use of systemic antibiotics. Resistant bacteria cause what is referred to as hospital-acquired infection – a life-threatening condition that is increasing in incidence worldwide.