'Nano-sized assassins' to kill bacteria responsible for infections in implant patients, has been created by researchers.
From catheters to prosthetics, the bacteria called Staphylococcus epidermidis are known to hitch a ride on a range of medical devices implanted into patients.
According to researchers, iron-oxide nanoparticles have been shown to eliminate a bacterial infection on an implanted prosthetic device.
Inside the body, the bacteria multiply on the implant's surface and then build a slimy, protective film to shield the colony from antibiotics.
Webster and Brown graduate student Erik Taylor have created a nano-sized headhunter that zeroes in on the implant, penetrates S. epidermidis's defensive wall and kills the bacteria.
The study showed that 28 percent of the bacteria on an implant had been eliminated after 48 hours by injecting 10 micrograms of the nanoparticle agents.
The same dosage repeated three times over six days destroyed essentially all the bacteria.
The tests show "there will be a continual killing of the bacteria until the film is gone," said Webster, who is editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed journal in which the paper appears.
The finding is published in the International Journal of Nanomedicine.