An international team of researchers led by the University of Missouri-Columbia Dean of Engineering may have developed a new technique for treating staph infections. Dean Elizabeth Loboa and her team used silver-ion coated scaffolds to hold stem cells. When applied to Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections, the treatment slows the spread of MRSA while regenerating new bone. Scientists feel that the biodegradable and biocompatible scaffolds could be the first step in the fight against MRSA in patients.
“Osteomyelitis is a debilitating bone infection that can result when MRSA invades bone tissue, including bone marrow or surrounding soft tissues,” said Elizabeth Loboa, dean of the MU College of Engineering and professor of bioengineering. “Increasingly, those in the healthcare profession are running out of choices when it comes to treating MRSA while regenerating tissue. Using previously reported scaffolds that were created in our lab, we set out to determine the efficacy of coating these structures with silver ions and whether they were useful in treating or preventing osteomyelitis.”