Breakthrough: IISc devises nanomaterial that makes hardy bacteria useless

Over the years, studies have shown that overuse of antibiotics made bacteria adapt and become resistant.

Published: 23rd June 2020 07:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd June 2020 04:36 PM   |  A+A-

ndian Institute of Science

File Photo of Indian Institute of Science (IISC) in Bengaluru. (Photo | Express Photo Services)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Over the years, studies have shown that overuse of antibiotics made bacteria adapt and become resistant. To ensure that doesn’t happen, researchers from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have devised a nanomaterial that mimics the enzyme phospholipase and ruptures the membrane, rendering the bacteria useless. It also diminishes their resistance-building capacity, according to researchers.

Kapudeep Karmakar, a former PhD student at Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology (MCB) and the joint first author on this paper, said that the nanomaterial called nanozymes, breaks the bond that holds the two-layered membrane of the bacteria, making it vulnerable to drugs and thereby compromising its resistance-building capability.

The research team from the Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry (IPC) and MCB have successfully tested the nanozyme on a range of human pathogens. This finding has a number of uses, from deactivating bacteria, to coating invasive instruments such as catheters, thereby reducing the risk of urinary tract infection. Furthermore in the future, when coated to ‘bio-compatible agents’, it can help create a potent antibiotic nanozyme.


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