IBM Nanoparticle Breakthrough Destroys Drug-Resistant Bacteria

ibmA team of engineers and researchers headed by Dr. James Hedrick at IBM Inc. has developed a new technology that could revolutionize how resistant bacterial infections are currently treated.

IBM researchers created a new type of nanoparticles that are capable of destroying the membrane walls of certain drug-resistant bacteria strains, leaving the cells to harmlessly degrade without any trace. The new system works by using biodegradable plastic to engineer electrically charged nanoparticles that in turn attract to the bacteria’s opposite charge, in turn destroying the membrane walls hence the cell entirely.

Certain types of traditional antibiotic medicines work by blocking certain types of microorganisms that can cause infections from multiplying by interfering with their internal contents, including DNA, or external parts like the membrane wall. Mostly, these medicines work very well in destroying all (which is why it is critical to follow dosage instructions from your physician, and continue to take your prescribed medication even after you feel better) bacteria over the course of treatment, but there are times when not every bacterial cell is killed which could later become drug resistant.

The new breakthrough methodology developed at IBM is able to destroy the cell’s membrane wall, leaving the remaining matter of the cell to safely degrade. Since the molecules of the system are organic, the human body is able to easily dispose of the medicine, unlike certain antibiotics that are not as easily removed by the body hence causing side effects.

The system proved successful in destroying methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria in laboratory tests involving infected mice, according to results published in Nature Chemistry. The system has yet to be tested on humans, but IBM said the company is currently in talks with major pharmaceutical firms looking at creating a human trial, but declined to publically say which specific firms are involved in talks.

MRSA bacterium is common around the world, and it is responsible for millions of deaths resulting from various infections, including respiratory infections.

The new IBM proposed technology could be used to more easily treat stubborn drug resistant microorganisms, having the potential to literally save millions of lives, assuming the technology proves successful in humans.

Dr. Hedrick called the results “extraordinarily promising at this stage.”

Correction: This article incorrectly stated the antibiotic apo amoxicillin works by interfering with a cell’s DNA, that is not correct, rather, other types of antibiotic drugs like bacteriostatic antibiotic drugs work by interfering with DNA.

Update: To review the full report findings from Nature Chemistry, see this comment posted by user “ttsci” on the popular social news website Reddit.com


tag TAGS: ,
Short URL: http://bit.ly/yeEXvC
Recommended:
b2p Ensure that you follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook
Hercules holds a B.Comm Finance from Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) level 3 candidate. He was previously a contributor at FiLife, a finance website owned by Dow Jones and IAC. Write to hercules@business2press.com
checkmark
We are perfectly committed to the highest ethical and professional codes of conduct and standards in the industry on a firm wide basis. Learn more about us, our contributors, and our governance
b2p
We encourage you to comment. Comments are moderated. Comments that are abusive, off-topic, have marginal substance, or include promotional content will be removed. We cannot facilitate requests to edit or remove comments, or explain moderation decisions
  • zman

    This is interesting. When did IBM get into the pharmaceutical field? nnGreat news, though. It’s about time people started thinking outside of the box. Drug makers have been so focused on chemistry rather than physics. nnAccording to Richard Feynman, physics can do anything chemistry can do, and much better. Then, it can break all the boundaries of chemistry, and take the world to a whole new level.

    • Anonymous

      Chemistry is a type of physics. But then, so is everything else.

      • AIRCHOMPERS

        What about mathematics?nBOOM SHAKALAKA.

        • No

          Mathematics is the language used to describe physics.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BRXOSBENUJCZIZU6FH3T5HZX6Q Jacob

            Allah isn’t physics.

          • Tobias

            You’ve got to exist before you’re physics.nnHiggs Boson, for example.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BRXOSBENUJCZIZU6FH3T5HZX6Q Jacob

            Love it. Was bored and fishing, but you took a troll and made troll soup.

          • Usbboy

            i’ll give you some soup ;)

    • Caramelkid807

      How about that the Big Pharma company found a way to make money off of Colloidal silver in which they tried for decades to keep people away from saying how horrible it is and yet they gave a patent for the CURAD SILVER BAND AID! nThis is not new technology its a rip off of colloidal silver! Read up on colloidal silver and see for yourself! A good site to read about it is at; http://www.utopiasilver.com

  • Notbensemail

    This is much more interesting/important than whatever Charlie Sheen is doing. Why is that idiot all over the news and this barely makes any waves at all?

    • Pseman

      UHHHHH WINNING….. DUHHHH… WINNING….nnyou’re a fucking loser Charlie Sheen

    • Anonymous

      Nothing could be more interesting than whatever what’s-his-name is doing.

  • Guest

    “Traditional antibiotic medicines, like apo amoxicillin, block certain types of microorganisms that can cause infections from multiplying by interfering with their DNA”nnUm, no, this is not how amoxicillin works, not even close. If you got this wrong I worried the rest of the article is just as inaccurate.

    • Robbyok

      nope, “Guest”, u are wrong. do some googling. antibiotics kill the bacteria by interfering the outside part of the cell thereby interfering with their DNA hence blocking their ability to multiply, but I guess that could be made more clear… nnNevertheless, this new approach developed by IBM would actually physically do damage to the cells thereby killing them.nnThat is why this is breakthrough and very encouraging.

      • Guest

        Amoxicillin is bactericidal, that it, it works by killing the bacteria. Amoxicillin has no interaction whatsoever with bacterial DNA. It only messes with their DNA in that the DNA is gonna spill out everywhere when the cell membrane breaks.nnThere are other antibiotics (called bacteriostatics) that act by preventing cell division (e.g. messing with DNA or protein synthesis). The author could have just used one of these as an example instead and their statement would have been correct.

        • http://business2press.com Hercules K

          Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We’ve updated the article and included a correction at the bottom of the post noting the previous error.

    • Kenny

      “A bactericidal usually either interferes with the formation of the bacterium’s cell wall or its cell contents.” contents = insides of cell = includes DNAnnhttp://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/10278.php

  • Pingback: New Nanoparticle Technology Shown to Kill Drug Resistant Bacteria

  • Mark

    Check out the report here in Nature Chemistry…. only a summary is available, unless u want to dish out about $30…nnhttp://www.nature.com/nchem/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nchem.1012.html

  • http://profiles.google.com/michael.rubinstein Michael Rubinstein

    Very cool. I wish clinical trials didn’t take so long!

    • Adam

      ummmm, thalidomide?

      • http://twitter.com/michaelruby Michael Rubinstein

        I said I wish they didn’t take so long, but I know why they’re important and necessary!

    • Caramelkid807

      How about that the Big Pharma company found a way to make money off of Colloidal silver in which they tried for decades to keep people away from saying how horrible it is and yet they gave a patent for the CURAD SILVER BAND AID! nThis is not new technology its a rip off of colloidal silver! Read up on colloidal silver and see for yourself! A good site to read about it is at; http://www.utopiasilver.com n

  • Yoyo

    OMG this is old technology! Bob Beck and the Beck Protocol discovered this years ago.

    • Apple-fanboy

      who the heck is Bob Beck?

    • Caramelkid807

      THATS WHAT IM SAYING!!! WHO ARE THEY TRYING TO FOOL!!!! THank you!!!

  • Pingback: Interesting Reading #720 – Nintendo fiasco, All iPhone5 rumors, You’re doing it wrong, 15 overlooked jobs and much more! – The Blogs at HowStuffWorks

  • Paul

    “leaving the cells to harmlessly thaw without any trace.”nnthaw? that implies the cells were frozen? i’m confused.

  • Willy

    Aa big thanks to the guy on Reddit who posted the full report I’m sure a lot of people who actully know science will find it useful. nnI’m just wondering tho, can this method worm on more serious diseases by the same method, ie: figuring out a cells electric charge then designing a nanoparticle to destroy it? This stuff is very interesting!

Business 2.0 Press publishes exclusive business tech news and analysis covering start-ups to large-caps from Bay & Wall streets since 2008 from a group of highly knowledgeable industry professionals that abide by the toughest industry codes of conduct and professional standards lightMore

lightAdd value by subscribing (RSS)

logo

StockFractions.com has the most stock ratios for public companies. Get the most comprehensive micro insight on public firms available on the web, all for free.
Stock Fractionsgo

title

Colon cancer is one of the leading causes of death. Irrespective of family history, everyone is exposed to the risk. About 90% of colon cancer cases begin from non-cancerous tumors, polyps, which could form in the large bowel. Screening with a colonoscopy will painlessly remove any polyps hence almost entirely reducing your risk of developing the horrible disease. The good news is that about 90% of colon cancer cases are preventable through a simple (yes, simple) colonoscopy.
Learn moreatom
Public service message from Business 2.0 Press