The light that can kill bacteria

Why is bacterial resistance to antibiotics increasing? For its uncontrolled abuse. It’s a global problem. So in Russia they thought of an alternative. And from the National University for Nuclear Research (MEPhI) they suggested something: light that can kill bacteria.

Light, which can kill bacteria, could be a solution to the growing resistance to antibiotics.
Light, which can kill bacteria, could be a solution to the growing resistance to antibiotics.
A light in the end

The solution to this global problem could be the development of antibacterial photodynamic therapy (ADTT). It is based on the use of photosensitizers that are introduced into the body and irradiated with light during treatment. This is passed on to the oxygen molecules and converted into an active form that fights infection. MEPhI scientists suggested using synthetic polycational bacteriochlorins as photosensitizers. These compounds are used universally in the treatment of PDT. This would save time and resources, as the nature of the bacterial threat no longer needs to be determined.

For the WHO, an effective antibacterial agent is one that reduces the number of active cells in the pathogen by at least 103 times. According to MEPhI scientists, the bacteriochlorins they use exceed this number by at least ten times. The rapid death of bacteria is ensured by the active action of oxygen, which is “charged” with the energy of the photosensitizer. Bacteriochlorins in solution have a positive electrical charge. This increases the effectiveness of the photosensitizers in bacteria.

Indiscriminate use of antibiotics increases bacterial resistance.
Indiscriminate use of antibiotics increases bacterial resistance.
Practical use

The experiments showed a high effectiveness of bacteriochlorins in antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. This significantly increases our chances of success in real clinical studies, ”says Ekaterina Ajliustina. He is a PhD student at the MEPhI Institute for Biomedical Engineering.

The most promising application for antibacterial PDT is in the treatment of infected wounds and burns. So the light that can kill bacteria would also have a good cosmetic effect.

‘In the current test phase, these connections can already be used for technical purposes. We hope that a bacteriochlorin base and dosage form for use in medicine and veterinary medicine will be developed ”, comments Ekaterina Ajliústina.

The stability and photodynamic properties of the synthesized compounds must be carefully studied. Later, this will allow the correct selection of doses for the manufacture of a medicine made from new compounds.

Chemical compounds such as photosensitizers used by the research group have already been patented. Experiments on human tissues and organs will be carried out shortly.

Are there bacteria? Let there be light.

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