The dressing will work by releasing antibiotics from nanocapsules triggered by the presence of disease-causing pathogenic bacteria, which will target treatment before the infection takes hold. The dressing will also change colour when the antibiotic is released, alerting healthcare professionals that there is infection in the wound.
This is an important step in treating burns patients, particularly children, where infections can lead to toxic shock syndrome, a potentially fatal condition. University of Bath project leader, Doctor Toby Jenkins said: “Your skin is normally home to billions of ‘friendly’ bacteria, which it needs to stay healthy. “The dressing is only triggered by disease-causing bacteria, which produce toxins that break open capsules containing the antibiotics and dye.”
The dressing will be coated with nanocapsules that contain antibiotics and a dye that are broken open by toxins produced by disease-causing bacteria.
“This means that antibiotics are only released when needed, which reduces the risk of the evolution of new antibiotic-resistant super-bugs such as MRSA.”
Doktor Amber Young, a paediatric burn specialist at the South West UK Paediatric Burn Centre said: “We’re really excited about this project – every day we see young children who are seriously ill from burns who would hugely benefit from this research. “Many people don’t realise that a burn from a cup of tea can be deadly if it becomes infected.
The researchers have already tested fabric coated with the nanocapsules, which are just one millionth of a millimetre in size. They have been shown to react specifically to harmful bacteria.
COMPAMED.de; Source: University of Bath