News and event highlights from the Brown School of Engineering.
Friday, February 19, 2010
Prof. Webster and Erik Taylor's implant research highlighted
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Almost 1 million people go under the knife every year for a knee, hip or shoulder replacement. Surgeons say those metal implants can become playgrounds for bacteria, leading to potentially deadly infections like MRSA. It happens to nearly 20,000 people every year. One scientist has developed a tiny solution that could kill the infection without removing the implant.
Dr. Webster is creating a nano-sized solution to fight implant infections. He manufactured iron-oxide nanoparticles -- tiny warriors that zero in on the implant, penetrate the bacterial shield, and kill the bacteria. In lab tests, an injection of the specially-designed nanoparticles eliminated 74 percent of the bacteria on an implant in 48 hours. When repeated three times over six days, the nanoparticles killed 100 percent of the bacteria.
Entire article and a TV clip airing across the country summarizing some of Professor Webster's and graduate student Erik Taylor's research (make sure to click play in the first image):