Monthly Archives: January 2013

IBM and IBN create new antimicrobial hydrogel

SAN JOSE, California – 24 Jan 2013: Researchers from IBM and the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology revealed today an antimicrobial hydrogel that can break through diseased biofilms and completely eradicate drug-resistant bacteria upon contact. The synthetic hydrogel, which forms spontaneously when heated to body temperature, is the first-ever to be biodegradable, biocompatible and non-toxic, making it an ideal tool to combat serious health hazards facing hospital workers, visitors and patients.   Rest

Nanofibers Help Peptide Drugs Through Blood-Brain Barrier

With the addition of a greasy tail, a peptide drug wraps up into a nanofiber that can sneak through the blood-brain barrier in mice (ACS Nano, DOI:10.1021/nn305193d). The scientists who developed the nanofibers think these structures could be an effective way to deliver peptide drugs to the brain.

Chemists have designed peptide drugs that hit targets in the brain in hopes of treating neuropathic pain or diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. But these peptides face a couple of hurdles: They are easily broken down by enzymes in the body, and they can’t cross the fiendishly hard-to-penetrate blood-brain barrier.

Ijeoma F. Uchegbu and Andreas G. Schätzlein at University College London and their colleagues tackled these problems by attaching a lipid group to a possible pain drug called dalargin. The blood-brain barrier tends to accept greasy molecules for passage, so the team thought the lipid tails would help the peptides slip into the brain. Other researchers have found that nanoparticles coated with surfactants can deliver peptide drugs to the brain (Pharm. Res., DOI:10.1023/A:1022604120952).