Category : Technology
We have a growing problem with bacteria, because although we do not lack antibiotics, they evolve and develop immunity so quickly that they can finally get out of control.
It often happens that it takes a lot of time to find out whether we are dealing with a susceptible to treatment or an antibiotic-resistant bacterium, which makes treatment difficult. The researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have therefore developed an intelligent bandage that changes color if it detects an infection - both susceptible and resistant to treatment - and then releases the drug that starts the fight. According to the scientists' concept, the bandage is green when applied to the wound, and if it detects an infection caused by the presence of antibiotic-sensitive bacteria, it turns yellow within a few hours.
Similarly to bacteria resistant to antibiotics, except that in this situation it turns red. Changing the color is possible due to chemicals placed in the dressing. Pathogenic bacteria often create a more acidic environment for themselves, so the bandage contains a simple indicator that changes color in their surroundings. For antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the dressing turns red when nitrocefin senses the enzymes known as β-lactamases produced by such bacteria.
This is a simple thing that greatly facilitates the lives of doctors and patients, because it is very quickly known what treatment strategy to take. Not without significance is the fact that antibiotics are not given in cases where they would still have nothing to do (saving the drugs themselves and the patient's health). What's more, the bandage is also soaked with drugs, and more specifically ampicillin, so when talking about an infection susceptible to treatment with it, the treatment begins immediately. In the case of resistant strains, it has no chance to work, but there is another secret weapon.
The bandage is also loaded with a material that reacts to bright light, releasing reactive oxygen species (capable of participating in chemical reactions that play a significant role in the metabolism and aging of living organisms), to which microbes are very susceptible - bacteria or die from it, or they are very weak, which makes it easier for the body to fight. The team tested their idea on mice with sensitive and antibiotic-resistant E.coli bacteria - then the bandage turned out as planned and was effective in killing both types of bacteria. So there is nothing else but to wait for clinical tests and mass production, because we are dealing with a plaster made mainly of paper, so its use is not expensive at all.