The future of fighting superbugs
AUDIO: Ambient music
VISUAL: crowds of people walk down a busy street
VOICEOVER: It's predicted by 2050 there could be 10 million deaths per year from bacterial infection by superbugs…
TEXT ON SCREEN: Professor Russell Crawford, Executive Dean, RMIT School of Science.
VISUAL: Professor Crawford is being interviewed at the RMIT City Campus. He sits facing the camera.
PROFESSOR CRAWFORD SPEAKS: or super bacteria that cannot be treated by any of the antibiotics that we currently know.
VISUAL: signage for the Nano Biotechnology Lab. Transition to a researcher working on a laptop in the lab.
VOICEOVER: Once bacteria find a surface, they start to multiply, and they form the protective layer around them.
TEXT ON SCREEN: Dr Aaron Elbourne, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Nanobiotechnology Lab, RMIT School of Science.
VISUAL: Dr Elbourne is being interviewed at the RMIT City Campus. He sits facing the camera.
DR ELBOURNE SPEAKS: Antibiotics will treat the outside of the biofilm, but the bacteria that are in the middle of the biofilm where all the bacteria have multiplied won't be treated.
VISUAL: the research team work in the lab wearing lab cats and protective glasses, conducting experiments and discussing results.
DR ELBOURNE SPEAKS: Eventually, most antibiotics we currently have won't work against bacteria anymore because bacteria are developing resistance.
VISUAL: Professor Crawford and the research team review their findings on a computer and discuss them.
PROFESSOR CRAWFORD SPEAKS: So if we are able to develop process which will kill and remove the bacterial biofilms and the bacteria within those not using antibiotics, then that's a fantastic advance in medical research.
TEXT ON SCREEN: Dr James Chapman, Nanobiotechnology & Analytical Principal Investigator, Chemistry Academic, RMIT School of Science.
VISUAL: Dr Chapman is being interviewed at the RMIT City Campus. He sits facing the camera.
DR CHAPMAN SPEAKS: At RMIT, we are one of the first people to look at multipronged strategies in terms of killing and removing that biofilm.
VISUAL: Entrance to the RMIT School of Science. Phials of the liquid metal nanoparticles used in the research team’s experiments and stored and used in a petrie dish.
DR CHAPMAN SPEAKS: Because we've got a technology that can actually penetrate into that biofilm, what we're able to do is remove the biofilm as well as kill the cells.
VISUAL: Dr Chapman holds one of the liquid metal nanoparticle phials. The liquid metal nanoparticles are magnetised and spun around to demonstrate how they move.
DR ELBOURNE SPEAKS: Using new liquid metal technologies, we could magnetically activate the particles and make the move under a magnetic field. The bacteria will then be inactivated. I believe this could be a new method of treating bacterial biofilms. Ideally, this would be an end product that could be used to make a real difference to people's lives.
VISUAL: Dr Elbourne heats a lab tool to obtain bacterial samples from a petrie dish.
PROFESSOR CRAWFORD SPEAKS: With more funding support for this particular project, we would be able to hire more postdoctoral research fellows who have the expertise to extend this work even further than what we've done at the moment.
VISUAL: A PhD student looks at bacterial samples from the freezer. Dr Chapman test a sample in the lab. A PhD student looks at samples under a microscope.
DR ELBOURNE SPEAKS: This is a world first. There aren't any other researchers or research teams looking at this, so it's very promising to be working on innovative technologies for biofilm treatments.
VISUAL: Dr Chapman looks at a sample of the liquid metal nanoparticles. Dr Chapman and Dr Elbourne work on their laptops in the lab.
DR CHAPMAN SPEAKS: We've generated such significant data, and the technology is paradigm shifting. It differentiates the RMIT research to all other stuff that's going on. It's just so exciting.
VISUAL: close up of the RMIT logo on a lab coat.
TEXT ON SCREEN: Donate today to support the fight against superbugs. rmit.edu.au/fightingsuperbugs.
VISUAL: RMIT logo.
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