By Angela Betsaida B. Laguipo, BSN Jan 8 2020
Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition that stems from the body's immune response against an infection. If there is an acute infection in the body, the immune system releases chemicals to fight the pathogen. However, when it goes out of balance, sepsis occurs and can lead to multiple organ failure. Now, scientists have found a novel approach using nanotechnology that can fight late-stage sepsis. Image Credit: Kateryna Kon / Shutterstock.com
A team of researchers at Ohio State University has discovered a new way to boost the cells' antibacterial properties. The novel method can prop up the immune system's ability to fight against sepsis, a condition usually caused by serious infections by bacteria.
Across the globe, an estimated 30 million people develop sepsis each year and remain as the leading cause of death in hospitals and health care facilities. In the United States, about 1.7 million people develop sepsis annually.
Sepsis is not an infection but the immune system's fatal response to an invading pathogen. The condition often causes tissue damage and, eventually, organ failure and death.
Over the years, antibacterial resistance has led to an increase in sepsis prevalence worldwide. It has posed an additional challenge for doctors that treat sepsis. Now, many scientists study alternative ways to treat sepsis. Using nanotechnology
In the study published in Nature Nanotechnology, the researchers used nanotechnology to transform donated healthy immune cells into a drug formulation with greater and more potent power to kill bacteria. The study involved two technologies in finding a treatment for sepsis – using vitamins in formulating lipid nanoparticles and taking advantage of natural cell processes in making a new antibacterial medicine.
In a normal immune response, macrophages are the first line of defense. They are the first ones in the site of infection that work by engulfing or eating the pathogens or disease-causing microorganisms. Patients who suffer from sepsis may have a lower number of macrophages; hence, they don't function properly. The scientists hypothesized that if patients received healthy immune cells, they could help boost the immune system's power.
The team developed vitamin-based nanoparticles in the laboratory from collected monocytes, white blood cells that can later turn to other immune cells, from the bone marrow of healthy laboratory mice. They then cultured them and turned them into healthy and well-functioning macrophages. Related Stories
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