The Nanoscale World

Drug Interactions Investigated Using Atomic Force Microscopy with Functionalized Tips


Mon, Jan 4 2010

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Drug Interactions Investigated Using Atomic Force Microscopy with Functionalized Tips

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Current antibacterial drugs might become ineffective in the near future due to a phenomenon called pharmacoresistance. This refers to the ability of microorganisms to withstand bacteriocidal (cell killing) or bacteriostatic (inhibition of growth) effects caused by antibiotics1. Bacteria are known to acquire drug resistance through an evolutionary process, which is driven by the widespread use and misuse of antibiotics. If this public health problem is not overcome, a wide range of infectious diseases could become incurable. The mechanisms of drug effects on microorganisms are poorly understood to date. Many questions remain to be answered: why do the drugs stop being efficient? How can we select better ones? Can we slow down the development of drug resistant bacteria?

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