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China develops new dialyzer to isolate bacteria from unprocessed blood

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-02-08 21:23

BEIJING - Chinese scientists have developed a new dialyzer to isolate bacteria from unprocessed blood, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

The dialyzer was inspired by the snap-action mechanism of the Venus fly trap, according to Wang Tie, a research fellow at CAS. The material is made of polycrystalline nanowires, which have a tip that bents readily to form three-dimensional "claws" to seize bacteria tightly.

Compared to unbendable single-crystalline nanowires, bendable polycrystalline nanowires efficiently improve the number of captured bacteria in a patient's blood stream at various velocities, showing minimal interactions with other blood components, according to the journal Nature Communications on Feb. 6, which published the research.

When there has not been an effective therapeutic strategy for antibiotic-resistant pathogens, cleaning a patient's blood is an alternative option to eradicate infection.

Although established technologies have been designed for the extracorporeal removal of bacteria, the speed of the blood stream makes it hard for the cleansing material to hold the captured bacteria resulting in low capture efficiency.

Bacterial infectious diseases, such as sepsis, can lead to impaired function of the lungs, kidneys and other vital organs.

The new dialyzer still needs clinical test to prove its efficiency and safety in medical treatment.

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