Apr 102011
 
Cell structure of a bacterium, one of the two ...

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It could save hundreds of thousands of lives each year

It uses ultra-small plastic particles that attach to bacteria and drill holes in their cell walls, causing the bacteria to collapse and die.

The innovation, which came about from a collaboration with the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) here, could be applied to kill drug-resistant superbugs, holding the promise of saving hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide each year.

IBM chief technology officer Foong Sew Bun said the idea for the method came from the semiconductor industry.

He said: ‘Semiconductor chips are bonded through a process called electrostatic magnetism. Two parts of the chip have opposite electrical charges, so they attract each other.’

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