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Polycarbonates to Tackle Multidrug Resistance
Polymers that can be fine-tuned for optimal effect could help fight multidrug-resistant infections

Scanning electron microscopy images of Escherichia coli before (top) and after (bottom) two-hour treatment with a polymer. The treated E. coli cells show distorted and corrugated surfaces compared to the intact control cells.
Reproduced, with permission, from Ref. 1 2013 American Chemical Society

July 2, 2014 – The rise of drug-resistant microbes is a major challenge facing medicine. The World Health Organization’s 2014 report on global surveillance of antimicrobial resistance warns of the very real possibility of the twenty-first century becoming “a post-antibiotic era – in which common infections and minor injuries can kill”. In the face of this threat, researchers worldwide are exploring approaches to find new compounds that combine selective antimicrobial efficacy with low toxicity toward mammalian cells.

Dr Yi Yan Yang at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology and co-workers have now created a range of large polycarbonate molecules that are potent antimicrobials and are tolerated well by rat red blood cells, suggesting that they could prove similarly effective in humans. Crucially, by subtly varying the composition of the polycarbonate molecules, the researchers could fine-tune the selectivity and activity of these candidate drugs.

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A ‘Click’ Toward Localized Chemotherapy
‘Click’ chemistry produces a hydrogel with less toxicity and greater tissue localization in a mouse cancer model

The oxaliplatin-peptide conjugate, formed using click chemistry, self-assembles into a hydrogel (bottom left) that can be injected for localized drug delivery.
Reproduced, with permission, from Ref. 1 2013 Royal Society of Chemistry

June 4, 2014 – Platinum-based chemotherapy drugs are commonly used to treat a wide variety of solid tumors, including cancers affecting the breast, colon and lung. However, only a small amount of these anticancer drugs typically reaches the target organ system. This inefficiency not only reduces the efficacy of the drug; it also leads to severe side effects, ranging from nausea to kidney toxicity or deafness.

Dr Charlotte Hauser and her co-workers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology have now developed a platform for the localized and sustained release of platinum-based anticancer therapeutics that overcomes many of these limitations. The research team’s novel gel formulation - a combination of specialized peptides and the drug oxaliplatin - led to dramatic growth inhibition when injected directly into the breast tumors of mice. In addition, the gel treatment produced a better tolerance profile than standard oxaliplatin drug therapy.

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Using Gold Nanoprobes to Unlock Your Genetic Profile
For more accurate prescription for stroke and heart patients

The IBN team, Dr Yanbing Zu, Prof Jackie Y. Ying and Dr Min-Han Tan (from right), which established the new genetic test to help doctors to determine the correct drug dosage for patients.

May 29, 2014 – A fast and cost-effective genetic test to determine the correct dosage of blood thinning drugs for the treatment of stroke, heart problems and deep vein thrombosis has been developed by researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN). Using gold nanoprobes, this new technology offers personalized healthcare based on the genetic profile of the patients.

IBN Executive Director Professor Jackie Y. Ying said, “Diseases caused by blood clots can be potentially fatal. Genetic testing can improve the treatment of such medical conditions. By combining our expertise in molecular diagnostics and nanotechnology, we have developed a new genetic test that can determine the appropriate drug dosage to be administered for each patient.”

Blood thinning drugs or anticoagulant medication prevent clots from forming in the blood. They are used to treat stroke, irregular heartbeat and deep vein thrombosis.

Read more.


IBN in the News

Polycarbonates to Tackle Multidrug Resistance
A*STAR Research, 02 Jul 2014

Finetuning Polycarbonates to Tackle Multidrug resistance
Nanowerk, 02 Jul 2014

A Charged Partnership
Asian Scientist, 01 Jul 2014

More News   


23 Jul
IBN Seminar Series: From Triple Bonds to Reactive Intermediates by Prof. Christopher C. Cummins, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

8 Dec - 9 Dec
2nd IBN International Symposium Nanomedicine and Nanoassays

Event Calendar   


Overcoming Multidrug Resistance in Microbials Using Nanostructures Self-Assembled from Cationic Bent-Core Oligomers
Small, (2014)
DOI: 10.1002/smll.201303921.
(IF: 7.823) article

Palladium Nanomaterials in Catalytic Intramolecular CH Amination Reactions
Chemical Communications, (2014)
DOI: 10.1039/c4cc03551h.
(IF: 6.378) article

Polysulfone Membranes Coated with Polymerized 3,4-Dihydroxy‑L‑phenylalanine are a Versatile and Cost-Effective Synthetic Substrate for Defined Long-Term Cultures of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
Biomacromolecules, 15[6] (2014) 2067-2078.
(IF: 5.371) article



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