Nano, Nano

Can nanotechnology revolutionize disease control?

  • 14 February 2020
  • Author: Frederika Bain
  • Number of views: 3862
Nano, Nano

In the midst of growing fears of coronavirus and the threat of global pandemics, it may be comforting to attend a presentation on recent advances in biomedicine. Visit Ag Sci 219 on Tuesday, February 18, 10:00–11:00 a.m. for “The Combination of Natural Materials and Nanomedicine: Real Medical Products Helping Real Humans” by visiting speaker Thomas J. Webster.

Dr. Webster, a professor in chemical engineering at Northeastern University, explains in his abstract, “Nanotechnology has begun to revolutionize medicine in a number of ways, from improving disease detection to better treatments. However, a particular growing concern to our healthcare system is the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control has predicted more deaths from antibiotic-resistant bacteria than from all cancers combined by 2050.”

He adds, “This talk will summarize efforts to utilize natural materials (plants, proteins, etc.) and nanotechnology to improve medicine, specifically by reducing bacteria and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Taking cues from nature, nanotextured surfaces have been shown to reduce bacteria attachment and growth without the use of antibiotics. Moreover, nanoparticles have been synthesized to carry natural antibacterial materials and attach to bacteria membranes, penetrate biofilms, and increase reactive oxygen species to kill bacteria without drugs. Lastly, chemistries that self-assemble into nanofibers that can penetrate bacteria membranes to kill them. This talk will also cover FDA-approved nanomedicine products being used today in humans.”