A research team at UC Santa Cruz, led by Pradip Mascharak, professor of chemistry and biochemistry, have developed a new technique for eradicating drug-resistant bacteria from wounds and skin infections.
The new technique uses light to trigger the controlled release of nitric oxide. The researchers developed a photoactive compound that releases nitric oxide when exposed to light, and loaded it into a porous, biocompatible material that could be applied as a sprayable powder. As a carrier for this compound, the researchers used a porous silicate material known as MCM-41, which traps the photoactive compound inside its pores.
Nitric oxide has potent antimicrobial effects and is known to play a role in the immune system and promote wound healing. Nitric oxide attacks a large number of targets in microorganisms, including DNA, proteins, and lipids.
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