Nanoparticle "backpacks" help probiotics fight IBD

NEW DELHI:  A new study suggests that healthy, gut-friendly bacteria can aid in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

According to research led by professor and biomedical engineer Quanyin Hu at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US, nanoparticle backpacks could greatly enhance and simplify the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Hu stated in a research that was published in the journal Science Advances that "IBD is a multifaceted disease, and you need to fight it from many aspects."

Specialized nanoparticles were created by Hu and his colleagues to neutralise chemicals linked to IBD. they have also discovered a technique for affixing these nanoparticle "backpacks" to helpful bacteria after they have been covered in the shielding material.

Hyaluronic acid and sulphide are both present in nanoparticle particles. The sulphide directly attacks the reactive oxygen species, while the acid has potent anti-inflammatory properties.

In a study done on mice, the researchers measured weight changes and changes in colon length in mice with IBD that received and did not get the treatment in order to determine the impact of the treatments. Similar to humans, mice with IBD frequently lose weight as the condition worsens and have their colons shrink.

According to research by Hu and his colleagues, mice that received the complete course of treatment lost the least amount of weight and had significantly shorter colons than their counterparts who had received partial or no treatment.
"We didn't want to focus on any particular IBD stage. We sought to identify the most crucial elements that go into treating or curing the disease, regardless of its stage "said Hu.

The treatment is administered orally, which could make it a palatable alternative to other more invasive forms of IBD treatment like partial or complete remove of the colon.

It will take some time before the treatments are tested on humans, despite the positive results.

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