New Australian nanotech a potential weapon against superbugs

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 13, 2023
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CANBERRA, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Australian researchers have developed a nano-thin material that could be integrated into wound dressings to prevent or heal bacterial infections.

In a new study published on Wednesday, the team from the University of South Australia (UniSA) and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) revealed that the material is effective against a broad range of drug-resistant bacterial cells, also known as superbugs.

Results of advanced preclinical trials published in the study showed that the black phosphorus-based nanotechnology can effectively kill over 99 percent of bacteria without damaging other cells.

According to the World Health Organization, drug-resistant diseases are one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity and could cause 10 million deaths a year by 2050.

Zlatko Kopecki, lead author of the research from UniSA's Future Industries Institute, said in a media release on Wednesday that trials found that the material significantly reduced infection and accelerated healing.

"This is exciting as the treatment was comparable to the ciprofloxacin antibiotic in eradicating wound infection and resulted in accelerated healing, with wounds closing by 80 percent over seven days," he said.

"We urgently need to develop new alternative non-antibiotic approaches to treat and manage wound infection," he said.

"Black phosphorus seems to have hit the spot, and we look forward to seeing the translation of this research towards clinical treatment of chronic wounds."

The team is now looking for industry partners to collaborate with on developing and prototyping the technology.

Aaron Elbourne, co-lead researcher from RMIT, said in Wednesday's media release that treating drug-resistant pathogens is becoming increasingly challenging.

"If we can make our invention a commercial reality in the clinical setting, these superbugs globally wouldn't know what hit them," he said. Enditem

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