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Sugar and gold were more effective than antibiotics in fighting bacteria

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University have created sugar-coated gold nanoparticles that can destroy bacterial biofilms at the sites of caries and wounds. The new method will allow treating patients with diagnosed allergies to antibiotics.

Sugar and gold against bacteria

Bacteria on teeth and damaged skin can become coated with mucous membranes and develop into biofilm. Such microorganisms cause tissue damage and interfere with the work of antibiotics. Technology using gold nanoparticles will eliminate such surfaces in less than a minute, surpassing popular antimicrobial drugs in effectiveness.

Due to its ability to convert energy from light sources into heat, gold can be used for photothermal therapy, a technology that uses the heat of nanoparticles to kill bacteria. In addition to generating heat, the nanoparticles emit ultrasonic waves, so they can be detected using photoacoustic imaging.

Sugar and gold against bacteriaPhotoacoustic imaging of biofilm treated with gold nanoparticles using dextran

To make the nanoparticles attractive to bacteria, the scientists coated them with dextran, a polysaccharide and carbohydrate that acts as building blocks for creating biofilms. The authors of the experiment tested the new method on the teeth and wounded skin of rats and mice. It turned out that photothermal therapy is much more effective in destroying biofilms, while existing methods do not particularly reduce the viability of bacteria.

The technology allows you to destroy almost all harmful bacteria in the cavity in 30 seconds. The heat generated by the nanoparticles was superior to another antimicrobial agent, gentamicin. Potentially, the new method will help prevent the development of caries and speed up wound healing in patients.


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