Saturday, July 4, 2009

Peptide Nanoparticles Combat Deadly Brain Infections

Scientists at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) in Singapore have developed peptide nanoparticles that find and destroy bacteria and fungal cells that cause fatal brain infections, according to a study in the journal, Nature Nanotechnology.

The nanoparticles contain a membrane-penetrating component that enables them to pass through the blood barrier to the infected areas of the brain requiring treatment. Many other treatments are too large to pass through this membrane. The peptide nanoparticles were effective at inhibiting the growth of fungal infections.

According to a press release from IBN, “pre-clinical tests have shown that IBN’s peptide nanoparticles are biocompatible and cause no damage to the liver or kidneys at tested doses. Highly anti-infective, the therapeutic doses of the peptide nanoparticles are expected to be safe for use because they also do not damage red blood cells.”

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