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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 17:08 EDT

Technology that Protects Friendly Bacteria

June 11, 2013

A new technology is being developed by the University of Cambridge to protect bacteria-based oral vaccines from destruction by the digestive system, to enable their safe delivery to the body’s immune system.

Research by Krishnaa Mahbubani, Alexander Edwards and Professor Nigel Slater in the University of Cambridge Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology has shown that a material called bile-acid adsorbing resins (BARs) can be used to protect bacteria from the destructive effects of bile in the small intestine. BAR is mixed with dried bacteria in a capsule that can be swallowed. The movement of bile into the capsule is held back by the resin long enough for water to rehydrate the bacteria, before the capsule finally breaks open, enabling the bacteria to survive.

credit: Cambridge University