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IBM Invents “Killer” Nanoparticles

MRSA Cells With and Without Nanoparticles MRSA bacteria before, left, and after, right, incubation with a new biodegradable polymer nanoparticle. Cell destruction is clearly visible. The bottom two images are magnified with respect to the top images.

“A new breed of biodegradable nanoparticles can glom on to drug-resistant bacteria, breaching their cell walls and leaking out their contents, selectively killing them.

The polymer particles could someday be used in anything from injectable treatments for drug-resistant bacteria, to new antibacterial soaps and deodorants, according to inventors at IBM.

After their work is done, the particles break apart, flushing away with the invaders they destroyed.

The nanoparticles, which IBM says are relatively inexpensive, were effective against bugs that have been evolving to resist antibiotics, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Preliminary results suggest the particles could also be effective against yeast, fungus and small bacteria like E. coli, IBM says. Research on the new particles is reported in this week’s issue of the journal Nature Chemistry.”

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