Stealth-care System: Scientists Test 'Smart' Red Blood Cells to Deliver Antibiotics that Target Specific Bacteria
Published:09 Nov.2022    Source:McMaster University
Physicists at McMaster University have identified a natural delivery system which can safely carry potent antibiotics throughout the body to selectively attack and kill bacteria by using red blood cells as a vehicle.
 
The platform, described in a new paper in the journal ACS Infectious Diseases, could help to address the ongoing antibiotic resistance crisis, say the scientists. They modified and then tested red blood cells as a carrier for one of the world's only remaining resistance-proof antibiotics: Polymyxin B (PmB), widely considered a treatment of last resort due to its toxicity and harmful side effects, which include kidney damage.
 
It is used to fight particularly dangerous and often drug-resistant bacteria such as E. coli, which is responsible for many serious conditions such as pneumonia, gastroenteritis and bloodstream infections.
 
Researchers have developed a way to open red blood cells and remove the inner components, leaving only a membrane -- known as a liposome -- which can be loaded with drug molecules and injected back into the body.
 
The process also involves coating the outside of the membrane with antibodies, allowing it to stick to bacteria and deliver the antibody safely.