Winter Timber Sale

A Promising Lignin-Derived Antimicrobial in the Fight Against Infections

Check out what the University of Nebraska researchers are finding in the Fight Against Infections...

Lignin from spruce trees has been used by University of Nebraska researchers looking for effective treatments to ward off human infections from pathogenic agents. Antibiotic resistance has become a significant problem, costing $55 billion annually.

Lignin is an abundant element of waste in forest products applications.

“If we can design low-cost, highly effective antimicrobials using green and eco-friendly materials, we can get the best of both worlds,” said Shudipto Dishari, Ross McCollum associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, who led the research project. It was the cover article in the American Chemical Society’s Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering journal.

The Nebraska team created a lignin-derived antimicrobial named QAL by modifying lignin from Norway spruce trees with quaternary ammonium, a positively charged functional group used to kill bacteria, viruses, and mold. The research tested QAL’s ability to counter an e-coli-based urinary tract infection.

Waste lignin is massively abundant around the world from plant waste.

The University of Nebraska announcement of the research is at: Link

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