A new glowing medical material is being touted as a promising alternative to mesh implants and internal stitches.
Researchers at Melbourne’s RMIT University developed the antimicrobial suture material using a combination of iodine and tiny nanoparticles called carbon dots.
The carbon dots are inherently fluorescent but their brightness can be increased so they stand out more in medical imaging.
“They can be tailored to create biodegradable stitches or a permanent suture, or even to be adhesive on one side only where required,” senior research fellow Shadi Houshyar said.
“This project opens up a lot of practical solutions for surgeons, which has been our aim from the start and the reason we have involved clinicians in the study.”
Lab tests published in the peer-reviewed OpenNano journal showed the material was easily visible in CT scans when threaded through samples of chicken meat.
It also showed strong antimicrobial properties, killing 99 per cent of highly drug-resistant bacteria after six hours at body temperature.
The next step for the material was pre-clinical trials, RMIT professor Elisa Hill-Yardin said.
“While this research is at an early stage, we believe we’re onto something very promising that could help a lot of people,” she said.
“We see potential, especially in vaginal mesh implants and similar procedures.”
(Australian Associated Press)