August 8, 2013
Absorbent Nanofibers Show Promise In Brain Infection Treatment
April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
A team of scientists, led by Chang Gung University, report a plastic material already used in absorbent surgical sutures and other medical devices shows promise for continuous administration of antibiotics to patients with brain infections. The findings, reported in ACS Chemical Neuroscience, show the use of the material, placed directly on the brain's surface, could reduce the need for weeks of costly hospital stays now required for such treatment.
Prior research has shown drug delivering plastics could release antibiotics directly into the brain, but additional surgeries were needed to remove the plastic when the treatment course was completed. Liu and his team wanted to create a biodegradable option using a dissolvable plastic called PLGA.
The team describes the development of PLGA fibers that release vancomycin. Vancomycin is a powerful antibiotic that kills many microbes, including the infamous "MRSA," which shrugs off most other known antibiotics. The team tested their fibers in rat models, which stand in for humans in these types of studies. The PLGA fibers successfully released the antibiotic for more than eight weeks in the brain, without any apparent side effects.