For the first time, researchers have used tiny vehicles, each about half the width of a human hair, to administer a dose of antibiotics daily for five days. At the end of the treatment, they reported that it was much more effective than just taking antibiotics orally.
“The movement itself improves the retention of antibiotics on the stomach lining where the bacteria are concentrated,” says Joseph Wang at the University of California San Diego, who led the research with Liangfang Zhang.
The vehicles are basically spherical magnesium cores coated with several different layers. They’re designed so that they’re protected from the stomach’s gastric acid but also stick to stomach walls. Perhaps the most creative part is how they move around. When the cores react with the gastric acid, they create a stream of hydrogen bubbles that pushes them around..