New antibacterial suture coating ‘almost 1,000 times as effective’

30 August 2012

A new antibacterial coating for sutures could potentially cut infections after surgery, according to scientists.

Research into a new coating has found that it is almost 1,000 times more effective than the most commonly used commercial coating, according to research published in the journal Langmuir.

Infections at the site of surgical incisions is one of the most common post-surgical complications, note the study authors, which can keep patients hospitalised for longer and push up hospital bills.

Currently, the most widely-used coating for surgical instruments contains triclosan, but it has been used so commonly that a strain of bacteria has emerged that is able to overcome its effects.

Furthermore, triclosan be absorbed into the body, which has raised concerns about its effect on long-term health, and while it is known to slow the growth of bacteria, it does not actually kill it.

However, a new substance designed from naturally-occurring antimicrobial peptides called PAMBM is able to kill a wide range of bacteria, according to the research.

Furthermore, it has a very low chance of causing bacterial resistance or any superbugs, scientists say.

The report noted: "As bacterial resistance to current agents continues to increase and with resistance to triclosan now documented, the discovery of new antimicrobial agents that remain active in biomedical device coatings is essential.”

Posted by Edward Bartel

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