Monday October 14, 2019

Researchers Develop Way to Fight against Bacterial Infections using Electricity

Bacterial biofilms are thin, slimy films of bacteria that form on some wounds, including burns or post-surgical infections, as well as after a medical device is placed in the body

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bacterial infections
Bacterial biofilms are thin, slimy films of bacteria that form on some wounds, including burns or post-surgical infections, as well as after a medical device is placed in the body. Pixabay

Amid growing antibiotic resistance, Indian-origin researchers have developed a way to charge up the fight against bacterial infections using electricity.

The electric field-based dressing can not only disrupt biofilm infection, it can also prevent such infections from forming in the future, said the study published in the journal Annals of Surgery.

Bacterial biofilms are thin, slimy films of bacteria that form on some wounds, including burns or post-surgical infections, as well as after a medical device is placed in the body.

bacterial infections
Amid growing antibiotic resistance, Indian-origin researchers have developed a way to charge up the fight against bacterial infections using electricity. Pixabay

These bacteria generate their own electricity, using their own electric fields to communicate and form the biofilm, which makes them more hostile and difficult to treat.

The dressing electrochemically self-generates 1 volt of electricity upon contact with body fluids such as wound fluid or blood, which is not enough to hurt or electrocute the patient, said the study.

Work conducted at the Indiana University School of Medicine by Chandan Sen and and Sashwati Roy led to the development of the dressing, Indiana University said in a statement on Friday.

bacterial infections
Bacterial biofilms are thin, slimy films of bacteria that form on some wounds, including burns or post-surgical infections, as well as after a medical device is placed in the body. Pixabay

They discovered the dressing is not only successful in fighting the bacteria on its own, but when combined with other medications can make them even more effective.

The researchers believe that the discovery has the potential to create significant changes in the way physicians treat patients with bacterial infections which are resistant to antibiotics.

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“This shows for the first time that bacterial biofilm can be disrupted by using an electroceutical dressing,” said Chandan Sen, Director of the Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering.

“This has implications across surgery as biofilm presence can lead to many complications in successful surgical outcomes,” Sen added. (IANS)

Next Story

Here’s How Gut Bacteria Absorbs Fat Leading to Weight Gain

A team of US researchers have found a molecule that helps synchronize the absorption of nutrients in the gut with the rhythms of the Earth's day-night light cycle

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health, weight gain, gut, bacteria
Those cells act as intermediaries between bacteria that aid in digestion of food and proteins that enable absorption of nutrients. Pixabay

A team of US researchers have found a molecule that helps synchronize the absorption of nutrients in the gut with the rhythms of the Earth’s day-night light cycle — a discovery that has far-ranging implications for obesity in affluent countries and malnutrition in impoverished countries.

Dr Lora Hooper and her research team at UT Southwestern found that the good bacteria that live in the guts of mammals programme the metabolic rhythms that govern the body’s absorption of dietary fat.

The team also found that microbes programme these so-called circadian rhythms by activating a protein named “histone deacetylase 3” (HDAC3), which is made by cells that line the gut.

Those cells act as intermediaries between bacteria that aid in digestion of food and proteins that enable absorption of nutrients.

The microbiome actually communicates with our metabolic machinery to make fat absorption more efficient.

“But when fat is overabundant, this communication can result in obesity. Whether the same thing is going on in other mammals, including humans, is the subject of future studies,” said lead author Dr Zheng Kuang, a postdoctoral fellow in the Hooper’s laboratory in the study published in the journal Science.

The study, done in mice, revealed that HDAC3 turns on genes involved in the absorption of fat.

They found that HDAC3 interacts with the biological clock machinery within the gut to refine the rhythmic ebb and flow of proteins that enhance absorption of fat.

health, weight gain, gut, bacteria
the good bacteria that live in the guts of mammals programme the metabolic rhythms that govern the body’s absorption of dietary fat. Pixabay

This regulation occurs in the daytime in humans, who eat during the day, and at night in mice, which eat at night.

“Our results suggest that the microbiome and the circadian clock have evolved to work together to regulate metabolism,” said Hooper.

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Disrupting the interactions between the microbiota and the body’s clock could make us more likely to become obese.

“These disruptions happen frequently in modern life when we take antibiotics, work overnight shifts, or travel internationally. But we think that our findings might eventually lead to new treatments for obesity – and possibly malnutrition – by altering the bacteria in our guts,” the researchers mentioned. (IANS)