London: In a landmark India-Britain collaboration, scientists are seeking to address the problem of antibiotics abuse.
The UK-Indian Centre for Advanced Technology for Minimising the Indiscriminate use of Antibiotics (UKICAT-MA) will focus on research in anti-microbial resistance (AMR). This will be led by the University of Sheffield and University of Bradford to establish smart materials for the detection and target delivery of antibiotics for eye infections.
“Resistance to antibiotics is one of the most important challenges of our age,” said prof Stephen Rimmer, part of the expert team from the University of Sheffield.
“A number of challenges exist if we are to avoid descent into a post-antibiotic age, including the development of new antibiotics, new diagnostics and improved delivery systems,” Rimmer said.
Nearly seven million pounds will be invested by India and Britain to develop three major global research centres using high quality research teams.
“UKICAT-MA will establish materials for both detection of ocular infections and the targeted delivery of antibiotics to infected sites in the eye.
“The enormous benefit of detecting something which works in both a UK and Indian environment is that it will help everyone across the world,” Rimmer noted.
The centre involves a multi-disciplinary team from the University of Sheffield and University of Bradford.
Much of the work is based around the idea that certain materials respond to bacteria by changing state on binding to bacteria.
These conformational changes are then either monitored to provide a signal of the presence of the bacteria or they provide a basis for targeting antibiotics to bacteria whilst reducing effects on surrounding tissues.
UKICAT-MA will develop these smart materials to produce contact lenses that give colour indications of bacterial infections and systems for local delivery of therapeutics to infected ocular tissues.