Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad Researchers have developed essential-oil-based drug delivery systems to treat fungal infections without running the risk of inducing drug resistance. This medication can even counter fungi that have developed resistance to conventional antifungal drugs. Microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi have a remarkable capacity to evolve resistance to antimicrobial agents used to destroy them.
The research was led by Dr Mudrika Khandelwal, Associate Professor, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering, IIT Hyderabad, and supported with funds by the Science and Engineering Research Board, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Grants from the American multinational conglomerate AT&T.
The IIT Hyderabad team turned to natural products to solve this problem. The idea of using carriers for controlled release of drugs has been around and various types of carriers including polymeric microcapsules, nanoemulsions/colloids and hydrogels have been developed for various drugs.