Blocking Bacterial Infection: How BINA-Based Research is Improving Hospital Care
As a former manager at Teva – one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical firms – Ronen Sarusi knows how to identify and develop technologies that are poised to improve human health. That’s why, when he heard about a new nano-based technique for fighting the scourge of hospital-based bacterial infections, he immediately contacted its inventor: emeritus member of the BINA faculty Prof. Aharon Gedanken.
“Every year, more than 100 thousand people in USA and more than 4 thousand in Israel die of infections picked up in hospitals,” says Ronen, founder and CEO of NSC – a company specializing in the development of antibacterial medical devices and disposable antibacterial fabrics. “With resistance to anti-biotic medications on the rise, the only way to fight back is to stop infection before it starts. This is something that Prof. Gedanken’s breakthrough nanoparticle-based technology is successfully able to do.”
Located in northern Israel, and launched in partnership with American investors, NSC has licensed Prof. Gedanken’s technique, which employs ultrasonic sound waves to fuse bacteria-destroying nanoparticles to surfaces. International testing – conducted under the auspices of an EU research consortium – proved that the technique produced outstanding anti-bacterial functionality.
“We coated 4,000 meters of fabric, which was used to create sheets, pajamas and other hospital items for a Bulgarian hospital, and studies proved that patients surrounded with the treated fabrics had a significantly lower level of exposure and contamination,” Gedanken says. “Moreover, this activity remains stable over time, under harsh conditions; after repeated laundering at over twice the temperature of home washing machines, the anti-bacterial nanoparticles remained attached and fully functional.”
Gedanken’s nanoparticles can also be deposited on the surface of disposables and medical devices, such as catheters and orthopedic implants.
Ronen is currently establishing partnerships with industrial firms, in hopes of making anti-bacterial fabrics and medical devices “standard operating procedure” for health practitioners around the world.
“Patients deserve a safe hospital environment – one that doesn’t threaten their recovery through the risk of unnecessary infection,” Ronen says, adding that, along with Prof. Gedanken, he also collaborates with Prof. Udi Banin of BINA and Dr. Ilana Pearlstein of the BIU Department of Chemistry. “I believe that this technology has the potential to have a worldwide impact, and make hospital-based care significantly better.”