Research – Bacteria-killing gel heals itself while healing you

Science Daily

McMaster researchers have developed a novel new gel made entirely from bacteria-killing viruses.

The anti-bacterial gel, which can be targeted to attack specific forms of bacteria, holds promise for numerous beneficial applications in medicine and environmental protection.

Among many possibilities, it could be used as an antibacterial coating for implants and artificial joints, as a sterile growth scaffold for human tissue, or in environmental cleanup operations, says chemical engineer Zeinab Hosseini-Doust.

Her lab, which specializes in developing engineering solutions for infectious disease, grew, extracted and packed together so many of the viruses — called bacteriophages, or simply phages — that they assembled themselves spontaneously into liquid crystals and, with the help of a chemical binder, formed into a gelatin-like substance that can heal itself when cut.

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