Combat Infection with Antimicrobial Nanocapsules - dummies

Combat Infection with Antimicrobial Nanocapsules

By Earl Boysen, Nancy C. Muir, Desiree Dudley, Christine Peterson

Nanotechnology is being used to fight harmful bacteria that can cause infection in wounds. From falling off our tricycles to cutting our fingers with a kitchen knife, we’ve all experienced wounds — and they’re no fun. One of the biggest dangers with wounds, however, is not the initial pain but the possibility of infection.

One of the earliest nanomedicine applications was the use of nanocrystalline silver as an antimicrobial agent for the treatment of wounds.

Recently, researchers have demonstrated that a nanoparticle cream can help to fight staph infections. The nanoparticles contain nitric oxide gas, which is known for its capability to kill bacteria. Studies on mice have shown that using the nanoparticle cream to release nitric oxide gas at the site of staph abscesses significantly reduces infection.

Another useful application of this technology is burn dressings coated with nanocapsules containing antibiotics. If an infection begins, the harmful bacteria in the wound causes the nanocapsules to break open, releasing the antibiotics. This method allows much quicker treatment of an infection and reduces the number of times you have to change a dressing.

The elimination of bacterial infections in a patient within minutes by using nanorobots instead of delivering treatment with antibiotics over a period of weeks is very promising.