Saturday, December 26, 2009

Nanoparticles can heal abscesses

December 26th, 2009 - 3:03 pm ICT by IANSWashington, Dec 26 (IANS) Researchers are relying on nanoparticles to heal skin abscesses caused by strains of bacteria that resist other medicines.

Abscesses are deep skin infections that often resist antibiotics and may require surgical drainage.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine researchers developed tiny nanoparticles that carry nitric oxide, a gas that helps the body fight infection.

When applied to abscesses engineered in 60 mice, the particles released nitric oxide that travelled deep into the skin, clearing up the infections and helping to heal tissue.

“Our work shows that nitric oxide-releasing nanoparticles can effectively treat experimental skin abscesses caused by antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, even without surgical drainage,” says Joshua D. Nosanchuk, senior study author and associate professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology.

“This is important,” he notes, “because several million people are treated for staph infections every year in the US,” he said, according to a statement from the college.

“Increasingly, these infections are caused by methicillin-resistant Staph aureus - or MRSA - the serious and potentially fatal ’superbug’ that we tackled in this study,” added Nosanchuk.

The study appeared in PLoS One.