Scientists have developed a “smart” system that uses red blood cells to deliver antibiotics to specific areas of the body. The system, called Stealth-care, is designed to target specific bacteria while minimising the risk of collateral damage to healthy cells.
The system works by genetically modifying red blood cells to express a protein that seek out and bind to a specific type of bacteria. The modified cells are then injected into the patient’s bloodstream, where they circulate until they come into contact with the target bacteria.
Once bound, the cells release the antibiotic payload, which is deadly to the bacteria but leaves healthy cells unharmed.
The developers say that Stealth-care could be used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections, including those that are resistant to existing antibiotics.
The system is currently being tested in animal models and the developers say it could be ready for human use within the next five years.
Scientists have developed a new “smart” system that uses red blood cells to deliver antibiotics directly to bacteria, potentially circumventing the problem of antibiotic resistance.
The new system, called the “stealth-care system,” takes advantage of the fact that red blood cells are able to travel through the body and avoid being destroyed by the immune system. The researchers loaded red blood cells with an antibiotic that targets a specific type of bacteria, and then injected the cells into mice.
The results showed that the red blood cells were able to target and destroy the specific bacteria, while leaving other types of bacteria unharmed. Importantly, the red blood cells were also able to deliver the antibiotic directly to the bacteria, without the need for it to be taken up by the body.
The stealth-care system is still in the early stages of development, but the researchers say that it has the potential to be used to treat a variety of bacterial infections, including those that are resistant to antibiotics.
The rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a major global health problem, and the need for new and innovative ways to combat these infections is urgent. The stealth-care system represents a potentially valuable new tool in the fight against antibiotic resistance.