Photoactive spray eradicates drug-resistant bacteria on the battlefield
Researchers in California are developing a new spray for use on the battlefield, which uses light to control the release of nitric oxide eradicating drug-resistant bacteria.
The sprayable powder consists of a compressed photoactive compound that rapidly releases nitric oxide into a wound, eliminating strains such as Acinetobacter baumannii, a gram-negative bacteria that causes fatal infections. This is especially prevalent in war soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Nitric oxide has been shown effective for treating wounds, but gaseous dispensation is difficult due to its toxicity. This spray contains a photoactive manganese nitrosyl and a silicate material known as MCM-41, which keeps the nitrosyl in its pores. The spray releases the powdery nitric oxide into the wound for treatment, but the other gaseous elements of the spray are trapped and easily washed off. The photoactive particles ensure the nitric oxide is active once it is in the wound.
'We think it could be used as a sprayable powder for treating battlefield wounds,' Pradip Mascharak, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at University of California Santa Cruz said. 'This is the first proof-of-concept to show that it works.'
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Image: Soldiers. Credit: familymwr on Flickr.