Busting A Biofilm On the left is a mature and healthy MRSA biofilm. After the hydrogel is applied, the biofilm is destroyed, as seen on the right. The small portion of remaining cells have drastically disrupted membranes, preventing resistance. This type of biofilm disruption has not been reported in other antimicrobial hydrogels or synthetic polymers. IBN/IBM

IBM’s Warmth-Activated Gel Can Break Up Tough Bacterial Biofilms And Kill Superbugs

And it is not vulnerable to evolved resistance.
By Rebecca BoylePosted 01.25.2013 at 9:02 am

Drug-resistant bacteria present a couple types of problems–they don’t die when attacked with typical antibiotics, and they form slimy, hard-to-remove colonies called biofilms, meaning they literally stick around after you’ve tried to wash them off. New treatments to prevent their spread have to take a different approach from other antimicrobial products. Researchers at IBM have a new idea, and they say it could work in hospitals, countertops and on your skin.

The new antimicrobial hydrogel, made of 90 percent water, gloops together spontaneously when warmed to body temperature. It can bust through biofilms and kill a whole host of bacterial types, from small bugs like E. coli to large bugs like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The hydrogel is comprised of specially designed polymers, which are biodegradable and positively charged. When mixed with water and warmed up, the polymers self-assemble into chains, and the result is a thick gel.

Read more: IBM's Warmth-Activated Gel Can Break Up Tough Bacterial Biofilms And Kill Superbugs | Popular Science.

Home           Top of page