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J Am Chem Soc. 2010 May 12;132(18):6566-70. doi: 10.1021/ja101554a.

A thin film detection/response system for pathogenic bacteria.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom.


This paper describes the modification of nonwoven fabric such that it responds by releasing an encapsulated antimicrobial from within an attached vesicle in response to two species of pathogenic bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus MSSA 476 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1), but does not respond to nonpathogenic Escherichia coli DH5alpha. This concept is based on the generalization that a majority of pathogenic bacteria secrete virulence factors such as toxins and lipases that actively damage cell membranes, typically observed as tissue damage around infected wounds, while nonpathogenic bacteria do not (or not at high concentration). The eventual aim of this work is to produce responsive dressings which release antimicrobials and change color only on infected wounds. This paper details preliminary approaches to achieving this goal, including vesicle-bacteria studies in aqueous suspension, and fluorescence imaging of fluorescein containing vesicles lysed by S. aureus and P. aeruginosa, but not by E. coli.

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