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Light zaps antibiotic resistant bacteria

Cristian A. Strassert and Luisa De Cola of the University of Munster (Germany) have developed a photodynamic method to deal with antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Nanoparticles made of a special porous material (zeolite L) are modified so they have a coating of amino groups. This coating causes the particle to preferentially bond to bacteria cell surfaces through electrostatic and hydrogen bonding. A green fluorescent dye in the pores of the zeolite L makes the bacteria fluoresce in a specific wavelength of fluorescent light.

Photosensitizers are also associated with the zeolite L and coating. When irradiated by a selected
wavelength of light, the photosensitizers absorb the energy and transfer that energy to oxygen molecules in the nearby space. The oxygen is excited into the singlet state and causes bacteria cell destruction through reaction with the singlet oxygen. Normally no singlet oxygen would be present to react.

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