A team of researchers and bio-engineers at the University of Southampton and University College London have developed a new way to observe the antimicrobial resistance of the Tuberculosis (TB) virus. Antimicrobial resistance is a growing global problem—and TB is becoming increasingly resistant. The bioengineered 3D cell culture platform uses an electrostatic encapsulation technique allowing scientists to see how host cells become infected by the virus, and how antibiotic resistance develops.
This 3D system may help in the long-term to identify new antibiotic treatments and vaccines against the disease. Leading the research team at Southampton, Prof. Paul Elkington said, “We believe this is a really exciting development for the field of tuberculosis research. The 3D sphere can be created with a collagen matrix so it is more like a human lung. This produces an environment which allows particular antibiotics that are important in treating patients, to kill the infection, which they cannot do in other 2D model systems. This system will help us speed up the process of finding treatments and vaccines for human tuberculosis, an infection that kills 1.8 million people per year.”References