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Szwedzcy naukowcy opracowali metodę zapobiegania zakażeniom implantów

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Naukowcy ze szwedzkiego ośrodka Chalmers University of Technology opracowali metodę pokrywania grafenu bakteriobójczymi cząsteczkami. Wykorzystanie powstałej w ten sposób powłoki na implantach medycznych może zapobiec tworzeniu się na nich biofilmu.

Szwedzcy badacze połączyli z grafenem nierozpuszczalne w wodzie molekuły antybakteryjne. Cząsteczki są następnie uwalniane z materiału w ciągły, kontrolowany sposób, co skutecznie zapobiega namnażaniu się drobnoustrojów na jego powierzchni oraz tworzeniu struktury biofilmu. Wyniki badań zostały opublikowane w czasopiśmie naukowym „Scientific Reports”.

Substancja aktywna pozyskiwana z porostów

Substancja, która została połączona przez zespół szwedzkich naukowców z grafenem, to kwas usninowy. Jest to organiczny związek chemiczny należący do tzw. kwasów porostowych, czyli metabolitów wtórnych wytwarzanych przez porosty. Kwas usninowy wykazuje intensywne działanie przeciwbakteryjne, przeciwwirusowe i przeciwgrzybicze. Mechanizm jego działania polega na zapobieganiu tworzeniu kwasów nukleinowych przez bakterie. Kwas usninowy hamuje syntezę RNA w komórce bakterii, tym samym blokując produkcję białek. Ma również właściwości przeciwzapalne i przeciwbólowe.

Cząsteczki kwasu usninowego są wiązane z grafenem dzięki wykorzystaniu ultradźwięków. Jak podkreśla Santosh Pandit z Wydziału Biologii i Inżynierii Biologicznej w Chalmers, metoda ta jest bardzo prosta i może zostać łatwo wdrożona w warunkach przemysłowych.

Skuteczność przeciwko gronkowcowi złocistemu

Badacze ze szwedzkiego ośrodka przetestowali skuteczność kwasu usninowego przeciwko szczepom bakterii Staphylococcus aureus oraz Staphylococcus epidermidis, które często odpowiadają za formowanie biofilmu na powierzchni implantów medycznych. Wyniki badań wykazały, że kwas usninowy skutecznie eradykuje patogeny i zapobiega tworzeniu się biofilmu.

Jak podkreśla Santosh Pandit, wyniki uzyskane przez jego zespół mogą się przyczynić do opracowania w przyszłości skuteczniejszej ochrony przeciwbakteryjnej na produktach biomedycznych.

W kolejnych etapach projektu naukowcy zamierzają przetestować możliwość połączenia z grafenem innych cząsteczek i leków, co mogłoby pomóc w zapobieganiu i leczeniu różnorodnych infekcji.

Zakażenia okołowszczepowe poważnym zagrożeniem

Zakażenia okołowszczepowe, czyli inaczej zakażenia związane z biomateriałem (ang. biomaterial-associated infections, BAIs), to poważne wyzwanie dla współczesnej medycyny. Kolonizacja powierzchni implantu medycznego przez patogenne drobnoustroje prowadzi do powstania stanu zapalnego, a w konsekwencji do resorpcji tkanki kostnej wokół implantu. Zakażenia okołowszczepowe mogą prowadzić m.in. do nieprawidłowego zrostu kości lub jego braku, zapalenia skóry i błon śluzowych, zakażeń systemowych. Leczenie tego rodzaju zakażeń wiąże się z wydłużeniem czasu hospitalizacji, a w konsekwencji ze znacznymi kosztami dla systemów opieki zdrowotnej.

Z tego względu opracowanie skutecznej profilaktyki zakażeń związanych z implantami medycznymi to istotne wyzwanie dla współczesnej medycyny.

Źródło:

sciencedaily.com

R. Pokrowiecki, S. Tyski, M. Zaleska, „Problematyka zakażeń okołowszczepowych”, Post. Mikrobiol. 2014, 53, 2, 123-124.

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