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Federal Research Center 
"Krasnoyarsk Science Center of the Siberian
Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences"

 Федеральный исследовательский центр «Красноярский научный центр Сибирского отделения Российской академии наук»

Federal Research Center 
"Krasnoyarsk Science Center of the Siberian
Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences"

Bacterial nanoparticles assist antibiotics to better fight inflammation

22 October 2020 г.

Наночастицы из бактерий помогают антибиотику лучше бороться с воспалениями
Scientists of the Federal Research Center "Krasnoyarsk Science Center SB RAS" developed an ointment made of magnetic nanoparticles and an antibiotic for the treatment of burns. Owing to nanoparticles, the antibiotic penetrates deep into the wound and kills a larger number of pathogenic bacteria, contributing to rapid tissue repair. The study is published in the journal Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine.

Magnetic nanoparticles are often viewed as a medicine, for example, for targeted drug delivery or for the development of new drugs. Magnetic ferrihydrite nanoparticles are considered promising for medicine. This mineral is produced by bacteria, so it is classified as biocompatible.
Researchers at the Federal Research Center "Krasnoyarsk Science Center SB RAS" developed an ointment made of ferrihydrite and antibiotic nanoparticles, which heal burns much faster than a conventional antibiotic. In the wounds of laboratory animals treated with such a suspension, the number of pathogenic bacteria decreased, the skin was restored as early as after ten days, and the inflammation was minimum.

Ferrihydrite nanoparticles are of biogenic origin, that is, they are synthesized by bacteria. They are usually obtained using the bacteria Klebsiella oxytoca. When grown under anoxic conditions and with the addition of iron citrate, these microorganisms produce a polysaccharide associated with ferrihydrite. Therefore, in contrast to synthetic nanoparticles, it is easier and safer to obtain ferrihydrite ones, and moreover, they are not toxic to other organisms.

Previously, scientists had shown that magnetic ferrihydrite nanoparticles under the influence of an external magnetic field could both penetrate into tissues and be excreted from the body. Moreover, they are not toxic and form stable complexes with the antibiotic. This led researchers to believe that ferrihydrite could be used as a magnetically controlled carrier of antibiotics to fight inflammation.

The experiments were carried out on rats in accordance with strict protocols for the treatment of laboratory animals, which are adopted in all leading research centers. Treatment began on the second day after the burns, when the wound became infected. The therapy lasted two weeks. In one group of rodents a traditional antibiotic was applied to the damaged skin, and in another group an antibiotic and nanoparticle ointment was used. In the second case, under the influence of the magnetic field, the antibiotic, together with ferrihydrite, penetrated deeper into the wound.
The scientists note that after the first three days of treatment, the condition of the rodents treated with the nanomaterial began to improve rapidly. After a week, these rats were active, and their wounds healed faster.

After the experiment ended, the researchers took samples of the burned skin to see if dangerous bacteria such as streptococci, staphylococci and other pathogens remained there. In the wounds of the rats treated with the nanoparticle antibiotic, harmful microorganisms were almost completely absent. Therefore, the burn itself began to heal much faster than in animals that received other treatments.

“Our task has been to determine how much better the antibiotic with nanoparticles is. The magnetic particles themselves, of course, cannot serve as a drug. The rat constantly licks off everything which we put on it. After applying an antibiotic to the wound, it is removed and thus, it does not go deep, and does not heal the wound. Due to the applied magnetic field the nanoparticles enhance the penetration of the antibiotic into the depths, and thus, the treatment is more effective. Our results serve as the basis for further study of the possibility of using magnetic ferrihydrite nanoparticles carrying an antibiotic in clinical practice, in particular, in the treatment of various inflammatory and wound processes, ” says Oksana Kolenchukova, Doctor of Biological Sciences, Associate Professor, Leading Researcher at the Research Institute of Medical Problems of the North FRC KSC SB RAS.

The scientist notes that further research is needed to completely understand the effect of an antibiotic with nanoparticles in human treatment. Before introducing an ointment based on nanoparticles into clinical practice, it is required to conduct a standard set of trials and tests for any drug. Experiments with animals are one of the first and necessary steps.