Surgical Implants Coated with One of “Nature’s Antibiotics” Could Prevent Infection
Posted Feb 02 2009 10:46pm
Researchers at the University of British Columbia have discovered a mimic of one of “nature’s antibiotics” that can be used to coat medical devices to prevent infection and rejection.
The study, released today in the journal Chemistry and Biology, found that a synthetic form, short tethered cationic antimicrobial peptides (peptide), can protect surfaces, like those of medical devices, killing bacteria and fungi that come into contact with them. Peptides are small proteins.
Medical devices such as surgical implants, catheters, hip replacements, and joint prostheses have the potential to become infected with bacteria, leading to many medical problems including degeneration or rejection of the implant. Currently, the metal silver is sometimes used to coat medical devices because of its antimicrobial properties.
Nature’s antibiotics are short naturally peptides that are produced by all complex organisms including humans and animals, for protection against microbial infections. These peptides can be found in cells and tissues, on the skin and mucosal surfaces and in fluids like blood, sweat and tears.