A collaborative effort by Professor Neil Thomas from the School of Chemistry and Dr. Sara Goodacre from the School of Life Sciences and their teams has led to the development of antibiotic synthetic Spider Silk. The two teams worked for five years to produce functionalized spider silk synthesized by E.coli bacteria that can be used for a wide range of applications such as wound healing, drug delivery, etc. The team used ‘click-chemistry’ that enabled the placement of molecules in soluble silk protein. When they functionalized silk strands with the antibiotic levofloxacin, it was found that the fibers were capable of retaining the antibacterial activity for five days. The generated spider silk is biodegradable and doesn’t cause an allergic or immune reaction. Thus, the researchers believe that these strands can be used to replace the extra cellular matrix that our own cells generate, thus accelerating the growth of new tissues, and can also be used for the slow release of antibiotics.
Read more in Science Daily.
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