Journal: Advanced Functional Materials
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Turning up the heat on bacterial infections
© KATERYNA KON/Science Photo Library/Getty
A nanoagent capable of killing bacteria when illuminated by infrared light has been developed by scientists in China. This could lead to new methods for preventing and treating bacterial infections and disinfecting wounds.
Antibiotics are widely used to fight bacterial diseases such as pneumonia and tuberculosis, but their overuse has led to drug-resistant diseases. Although various antibacterial agents, such as metal nanoparticles, have been used to treat bacterial infections, they can cause long-term tissue damage and be detrimental to human health.
Now, scientists from Sichuan University have grown a polymer brush on the surface of a composite nanoparticle consisting of a carbon nanotube and iron oxide. The nanoparticles trap bacteria and then kill them when they are heated by near-infrared light.
The work may lead to tunable nanoagents that could replace antibiotics in the fight against bacterial diseases.
- Advanced Functional Materials 28, 1605708 (2018). doi: 10.1002/adfm.201705708