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article imageHP accelerating antibiotics by printing medicines

By Tim Sandle     Sep 3, 2018 in Science
Global technology company HP is to work with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help to speed up the testing of new antibiotics, as part of the race to combat antimicrobial resistance.
HP Inc. has stated that it will take part in a pilot program run by the CDC, using HP proprietary technology to “print” test plates. When testing is not available, new drugs can be either over-utilized (which can lead to antimicrobial resistance) or be underutilized (where patients do not get the medicines they need).
For the study, the CDC will use new HP D300e Digital Dispenser BioPrinters at four of its laboratories, which form the Antibiotic Resistance Lab Network. This is to develop antimicrobial susceptibility test methods so that new candidate antimicrobials can be screened.
The technology will enable regional laboratories to conduct fast susceptibility testing for various U.S. health departments and hospitals.
Quoted by the website Rapid Microbiology, Jean Patel of the CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Coordination and Strategy Unit said: “Bacteria continuously develop new ways to resist antibiotics—once a drug is approved for use, the countdown begins until resistance emerges. In fact, resistance has even been detected before FDA approval.”
The medic adds: “To save lives and protect people, it is vital to make technology accessible to hospital labs nationwide. We hope this pilot will help ensure our newest drugs last longer and put gold-standard lab results in healthcare providers’ hands faster.”
With the use of antimicrobials over several decades a phenomenon called ‘antibiotic resistance’ occurs. Antibiotic resistance is a form of drug resistance whereby some sub-populations of a microorganism are able to survive after exposure to one or more antibiotics. One of the triggers for this is due to the overuse of use medicines, as arises from mis-prescribing or the use of antibiotics with farm animals.
This trend, which is a subject of global concern, will challenge the ability of medical staff to carry out routine operations or transplants in the future. Of greatest concern is the rise of multi-drug resistant microorganisms (the so-termed ‘super bugs’).
The HP printer accelerates the availability of test kits at the reginal level through “printing” the test plates required for analysts to evaluate suitable antibiotics within a few minutes. The device dispenses volumes, ranging from picoliters to microliters, to enable speedier and more accurate dispensing of small molecules to assist with drug discovery and for performing antimicrobial susceptibility testing for new drugs.
More about Medicines, 3D printing, Microbiology, Antimicrobial
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