Scientists in the US have developed a microdevice that investigates how bacteria communicate with each other to enhance their resistance to drugs.
Bacteria communicate in a process called quorum sensing, in which they secrete small signalling molecules called autoinducers. When bacteria produce a quorum, their resistance to drugs is enhanced. William Bentley and co-workers from the University of Maryland have developed bio-inspired nanoscale factories that capture bacteria, deliver a drug right on the surface of the bacteria and test their responses.
'The overall goal is to understand how pathogens communicate with each other to make a more formidable team than each individual cell. We're trying to break down what exactly a quorum is and how it works', explains Bentley.