Research Digest

Lab notes: Scientists develop tech to make antibiotics more effective, reduce drug resistance

A new nanotechnology system can help drug delivery especially in cancer patients prone to bacterial infections.

Scientists have developed a new antibiotic drug delivery system that improves the efficacy of the medicines. The new system developed using nanotechnology allows lower doses of antibiotics to be used against bacterial infections. This technology can help resist growing antibiotic resistance. It may also be particular use for cancer patients who are prone to bacterial infections.

The study by researchers at the Centre for Biomedical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi demonstrated how conventional antibiotics are distributed imperfectly in the body due to poor water solubility, lack of target specificity and loss of efficacy. This is why pathogenic bacteria develop resistance to these drugs over a period of time. The research team used nano-particles to overcome these inefficiencies and to boost the delivery drugs at a cellular level. The nanotechnology has proved effective against the bacteria Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhi, according to the study published last month in journal Scientific Reports.

So far, doctors have combated resistance to certain common antibiotics by prescribing stronger antibiotics. In particular, cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy are prone to infections as their immune systems weaken. The new study aims to help reduce antibiotic dosages and the possibility of drug resistance setting in, co-author of the study Neetu Singh told The Hindu. With no major antibiotics being developed in the recent past, the research team felt that it was important to try and improve the efficacy of existing drugs by improving delivery and interaction with bacteria. They clarified that more studies need to be carried out before the technology can be tested on animals.

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Watch Ruchir's journey: A story that captures the impact of accessible technology

Accessible technology has the potential to change lives.

“Technology can be a great leveller”, affirms Ruchir Falodia, Social Media Manager, TATA CLiQ. Out of the many qualities that define Ruchir as a person, one that stands out is that he is an autodidact – a self-taught coder and lover of technology.

Ruchir’s story is one that humanises technology - it has always played the role of a supportive friend who would look beyond his visual impairment. A top ranker through school and college, Ruchir would scan course books and convert them to a format which could be read out to him (in the absence of e-books for school). He also developed a lot of his work ethos on the philosophy of Open Source software, having contributed to various open source projects. The access provided by Open Source, where users could take a source code, modify it and distribute their own versions of the program, attracted him because of the even footing it gave everyone.

That is why I like being in programming. Nobody cares if you are in a wheelchair. Whatever be your physical disability, you are equal with every other developer. If your code works, good. If it doesn’t, you’ll be told so.

— Ruchir.

Motivated by the objectivity that technology provided, Ruchir made it his career. Despite having earned degree in computer engineering and an MBA, friends and family feared his visual impairment would prove difficult to overcome in a work setting. But Ruchir, who doesn’t like quotas or the ‘special’ tag he is often labelled with, used technology to prove that differently abled persons can work on an equal footing.

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Play

It was important for Ruchir to get rid of the sympathetic lens through which others saw him. His story serves as a message of reassurance to other differently abled persons and abolishes some of the fears, doubts and prejudices present in families, friends, employers or colleagues.

To know more about Ruchir’s journey, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Uber and not by the Scroll editorial team.