They’re roughly the same size as a coronavirus particle, and 1000 times smaller than a human hair, yet newly engineered nanoparticles developed by scientists at the University of South Australia, are punching well above their weight when it comes to treating drug-resistant fungal infections.
Created in partnership with Monash University, the new nanobiotechnology (called ‘micelles’), has a remarkable ability to battle one of the most invasive and notoriously resistant fungal infections – Candida albicans. It’s a timely finding, especially given the significant rise of dangerous fungal infections in hospitals with countries overrun by COVID-19.
Candida albicans is an opportunistic pathogenic yeast that is extremely dangerous to people with compromised immune systems, particularly those in a hospital setting.
This is the first time that polymer-based micelles have been created with intrinsic capabilities to prevent fungal biofilm formation. As the results already show that the new micelles will remove up to 70 per cent of infection, this could be a real game-changer for treating fungal diseases.
Nanobiotechnology is a hybrid of nanotechnology and biotechnology in which traditional microtechnology is combined with a molecular biological approach. It has the potential to progress medical science and, as a result, improve healthcare practices around the world.