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.