Published on November 7, 2016
1. are made of. That means this mechanism has the potential to be used to design more broad- spectrum antibiotics, which make up the first line of defence against bacterial infections. Many bacteria are rapidly evolving ways to counter common antibiotics. By using the body’s own defences as inspiration, re- searchers can engineer en- tirely new molecules that physically attack bacterial membranes. Although we have a long way to go before we see this behind pharmacy coun- ters, the design of Tilamin is definitely another step for- ward in our race against antibiotic resistance. Source : http://www.studentnewspaper.org/a- new-tool-in-the-fight-against-antibiotic- resistance/ Scientists from the London Centre for Nanotechnology and the National Physics Laboratory have discovered a potential new way of kill- ing harmful bacteria: by peeling them. Their innovative method can kill bacteria within minutes, making it an ex- citing discovery in the race to find new antibiotics. However, the underlying principle is not anything new. The body has many built-in defences against microbial intruders, includ- ing tiny molecules called antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). These peptides attach to bacterial surfaces and fold themselves up into struc- tures that can pierce through the protective lay- ers, forming pores. The pores let the contents of a bacterial cell flow out, or let antibacterial mole- cules flow in. At high con- centrations of AMPs, this can kill the bacteria, but at low concentrations, it only makes small, temporary pores without much effect. Inspired by the body’s own natural defences, the team of researchers designed a new peptide, called Tilamin, which is based on an ex- isting AMP. The surface of a bacterial cell is covered with molecules that protect it from our immune system and help it keep its shape. Its surface has an inner layer called a cytoplasmic mem- brane, and an outer one called a cell wall. The (inner) cytoplasmic membrane is made of two layers of a molecule called a phospholipid, which has a hydrophilic (water-loving) head and a hydrophobic (water-repelling) tail. Since both the inside of a bacterium and its outside environment are full of wa- ter, the two layers of phos- pholipids are arranged with the heads pointing out- wards and the tails inside. AMPs usually form a pore straight through the mem- brane, but Tilamin attacks at an angle, forming a hole through one layer of phos- pholipids. This exposes the hydrophobic tails in the in- ner layer to water. As more pores form, they expand and merge together, making the membrane quickly disintegrate. The membrane ruptures and the bacterium can no longer exist. Tilamin seems to be non- specific, affecting different kinds of bacteria regardless of what their cell envelopes A new tool in the fight against antibiotic resistance? Nanotechnology and Antibiotic Resistance Why is antimicro- bial resistance a global concern? New resistance mecha- nisms are emerging and spreading globally, threat- ening our ability to treat common infectious dis- eases, resulting in pro- longed illness, disability, and death. Without effective antimi- crobials for prevention and treatment of infec- tions, medical procedures such as organ transplanta- tion, cancer chemothera- py, diabetes management and major surgery (for example, caesarean sec- tions or hip replacements) become very high risk. Antibiotic Resistance is growing concern amongst medical and research fra- ternities across the globe Novocus Legal LLP07– November—2016
2. ence at SEAS. Inspired by the carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher plant, which uses the porous surface of its leaves to immobilize a layer of liquid water, creating a slippery surface for captur- ing insects, Aizenberg previ- ously engineered industrial and medical surface coatings that are able to repel unwanted substances as diverse as ice, crude oil and biological materials. Source : http:// www.nanowerk.com/ nanotechnology-news/ newsid=44956.php Implanted medical devices such as left ventricular- assist devices for patients with heart failure or other support systems for patients with respiratory, liver or other end organ disease save lives every day. Howev- er, bacteria that form infec- tious biofilms on those de- vices, called device- associated infections, not only often sabotage their success but also contribute to the rampant increase in antibiotic resistance cur- rently seen in hospitals. As reported in Biomaterials ("An immo- bilized liquid interface pre- vents device associated bac- terial infection in vivo"), a team led by Joanna Aizen- berg, Ph.D., and Elliot Chaikof, M.D., Ph.D., at the Wyss Institute for Biological- ly Inspired Engineering and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University (SEAS), as well as the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), has created self-healing slippery surface coatings with medical-grade teflon materials and liquids that prevent biofilm formation on medical implants while preserving normal innate immune responses against pathogenic bacteria.The technology is based on the concept of 'slippery liquid- infused porous surfac- es' (SLIPS) developed by Aizenberg, who is a Wyss Institute Core Faculty member, Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and the Amy Smith Berylson Professor of Mate- rials Science at SEAS. In- spired by the carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher plant, which uses the porous sur- face of its leaves to immobi- lize a layer of liquid water, creating a slippery surface for capturing insects, Aizen- berg previously engineered industrial and medical sur- face coatings that are able to repel unwanted sub- stances as diverse as ice, crude oil and biological ma- terials. The technology is based on the concept of 'slippery liq- uid-infused porous surfac- es' (SLIPS) developed by Aizenberg, who is a Wyss Institute Core Faculty mem- ber, Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and the Amy Smith Berylson Professor of Materials Sci- Creating Slippery Slope on surface of medical implants Nanotechnology and Antibiotic Resistance Antibiotic Resistance is growing concern amongst medical and research fra- ternities across the globe Novocus Legal LLP07– November—2016 The SEM image on the left shows a commonly used teflon surface implanted into mice that were infected with S. aureus. The unmodified device surface attracted the infectious bacteria (green). Red blood cells (red), immune cells (blue), and extracel- lular matrix material (yellow) are also shown to deposit on the surface. The SEM image on the right (colored purple) is of the same teflon surface treated with SLIPS within the infected mice. It shows no adhesion of cells or deposition of extracellular matrix material. (Image: Wyss Institute at Harvard University)
3. they are needed, but also intensify their impact at the target site. In a next step, the re- searchers want to struc- ture the nanocarriers in a way that enables them to take effect at a specific time. The peptides would therefore be protected within the nanostructure and then released when needed and as the result of an alteration in their structure. At the "press of a button", so to speak. This is especially im- portant in the medical field, for example when treating open wounds or u s i n g c a t h e t e r s . Source: http://www.nanowerk.com/ nanotechnology-news/ Several peptides have an antibacterial effect - but they are broken down in the human body too quickly to exert this effect. Empa researchers have now succeeded in encas- ing peptides in a protec- tive coat, which could prolong their life in the human body. This is an important breakthrough because peptides are con- sidered to be a possible solution in the fight a ga inst a nt ibi otic- resistant bacteria. They occur in many organisms and constitute natural weapons against bacteria in the body, being known as antimicrobial peptides. They offer a possible – and now also urgently needed – alternative to conventional antibiotics, but have not yet been suc- cessfully used in a clinical context. The reason for this lies in their structure, which results in peptides being broken down rela- tively quickly inside the human body, before they can have an anti-bacterial impact.In Empa's Bioin- terfaces Department in St. Gallen, a team led by Stef- an Salentinig has now succeeded, in collabo- ration with the Univer- sity of Copenhagen, in developing a kind of shuttle system made of liquid-crystalline nano- materials (so-called nanocarriers), which pro- tect the peptides and thus ensure they safely reach the target site. The researchers have also documented an addition- al characteristic of the nanocarriers. Peptides are already effective against bacteria when working "alone" - but in combina- tion with the carrier struc- ture they are even strong- er. Thus the protective casings formed by the lipids not only ensure the safe delivery of the pep- tides to the area where Peptides vs. superbugs Nanotechnology and Antibiotic Resistance Antibiotic Resistance is growing concern amongst medical and research fra- ternities across the globe Novocus Legal LLP07– November—2016 The peptides are located within the protective casing of the nanocarriers. The anti-microbial activity of the peptide is deployed when the structure of the nanocarrier is altered by external influences.
4. As a result, the medi- cines become ineffective and infections persist in the body, increasing the risk of spread to others. AMR threatens the effective prevention and treatment of an ever- increasing range of infec- tions caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi. AMR is an increas- ingly serious threat to global public health that requires action across all government sectors and society. Without effective antibiotics, the success of major surgery and Antimicrobial re- sistance (AMR) hap- pens when microor- ganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, virus- es, and parasites) change when they are exposed to anti- microbial drugs (such as antibiotics, antifun- gals, antivirals, anti- malarials, and anthel- mintics). Microorgan- isms that develop antimicrobial re- sistance are some- times referred to as “superbugs”. cancer chemotherapy would be compromised. The cost of health care for patients with resistant infections is higher than care for pa- tients with non-resistant infections due to longer duration of illness, addi- tional tests and use of more expensive drugs. Globally, 480 000 people develop multi-drug re- sistant TB each year, and drug resistance is starting to complicate the fight against HIV and malaria, as well. Novocus Legal LLP We all know that Intellectual Property acts as a conduit for infusion and diffusion of technology horizontally across various technical sectors and vertically within the same technical sector. Today, even diametrically opposite technical domains find some use same tech- nology. Also, with advent of inter-disciplinary fields like biotechnol- ogy, nanotechnology, medical devices and the like, it has become impossible to segregate technical applications of a single technology for only one technical sector. One has to remain updated about all technical sectors in order to progress in this knowledge driven economic environment. Through our newsletter series we hope to help readers stay updat- ed with some latest developments in nanotechnology. Antimicrobial Resistance— What is it?