Multi-layered microcarriers can lure, trap and kill superbugs

According tomedia reports, with the increase of drug-resistant bacteria, drugs alone are no longer enough to prevent the occurrence of serious infections. Now, innovative treatments are urgently needed, and researchers from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have developed a concept that is crazy enough to work — a “microcarrier” that can lure bacteria into traps and kill them.

The carriers are essentially made up of multi-layered nanoparticles, which play an important role in the process, the team said. The core of this microbead is made of magnesium metal, which is coated with several layers of polymer. At one end is a hole that exposes the core to the outside environment.

The concept is that when these beads enter an acidic environment, such as the stomach, magnesium reacts to it, creating hydrogen bubbles. A jet stream is created that pushes the vehicle in the opposite direction.

Multi-layered microcarriers can lure, trap and kill superbugs

This will allow the carrier to stay in the inner wall of the stomach, and once the magnesium element is dissolved, it will cause the particles to form a hollow state. At this point, the next polymer layer is exposed and then begins to dissolve. It is understood that this layer contains filaments — a bacteria like E. coli, which is thought to be an amino acid in the food signal, so it can effectively lure bacteria into the shell.

Once the bacteria gather inside the particles, the next layer opens the final curtain. When it dissolves, it releases silver ions, which are toxic to many microorganisms.

In the experiment, the researchers observed that the particles did cause E. coli to enter the hollow sphere, where they could be effectively killed.

The team says this method is particularly useful for controlling intestinal infections, which can release more lethality where needed. Because after all, most drugs are diluted in body fluids before they are targeted. In addition to medical care, this concept can also be used in other areas such as ensuring food safety or cleaning the environment.