Research news

Microswimmers use ‘good’ bacteria to target harmful biofilms

A paper by IBEC’s Smart nano-bio-devices group addresses the problem of biofilms, the “microbe cities” that enhance cell-to-cell communication for bacteria, allowing infection to thrive and increasing the chances of evading the immune system. In the body, they can be found in a wide variety of microbial infections, such as in the lungs of cystic fibrosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients.

Biofilm colonies are usually resistant to antibiotics and require targeted methods of removal. One method uses nanoparticles as carriers for antibiotic delivery, where they randomly circulate in fluid until they make contact with the infected areas. These are not very effective, however, as they need to be able to get much closer to the biofilm.

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Other news

IBEC B·Debate looks at “Adding life to years”

Yesterday, the IBEC-organised B·Debate at CosmoCaixa museum was an intensive review of biomedical engineering as the foundation of many of the actions needed to improve the quality of life of our ageing population.

The event welcomed more than 75 international scientists, clinicians and other actors with affiliations ranging from ETH Zürich and the World Health Organization to IBM Research and Hospital Clinic. Under the theme of “Bioengineering for Healthy Ageing: adding life to years”, they presented and examined possible solutions bioengineering can provide to address the challenges an ageing population faces.

The event opened with a session outlining the challenges and opportunities of the rapid growth of the oldest age groups, a major societal challenge that will have a huge impact on health care.

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