Liquid salts by-pass skin to treat infection (Nature News)
Liquid salts can improve the treatment of skin infections by killing bacteria and enhancing antibiotics’ ability to penetrate the skin’s outer layer, a new study finds.
A team led by Samir Mitragotri, a chemical engineer at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has demonstrated this strategy in principle in a study published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences1.
After tests for skin toxicity and irritation, one ionic liquid — choline geranate — emerged as a multipurpose vehicle, showing antimicrobial activity, minimal toxicity and enhanced delivery of the broad-spectrum antibiotic cefadroxil.
The researchers then tested the effectiveness of choline geranate as an antibiotic-delivery vehicle in an in vitro skin model that was wounded and infected with biofilm-forming Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Less than 5% of the bacteria survived when the antibiotic ceftazidime was paired with choline geranate, compared with 80% when the antibiotic was used on its own.
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