The foam from Trinidad’s female Túngara frogs could potentially be used as an antiseptic delivery system, according to researchers from Scotland’s University of Strathclyde.

The team of U.K. researchers discovered that female frogs coated their fertilized eggs in tightly packed bubbles, or vesicles, that protected the eggs for one week against dehydration, heat and bacterial infection.

In the lab, the researchers added the antibiotic rifamycin to the foam material and determined that the foam slowly released the antibiotic to a test pad over the course of several days — releasing roughly half of the rifamycin within the first 24 hours following application and the remainder slowly over the next six days.

Added to bandages or dressings, the researchers believe that the foam material could be used to treat burns or other injuries. However, the team cautioned that they must first develop a method for manufacturing the foam.

The study, Frog nest foams exhibit pharmaceutical foam-like properties, appears in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

To contact the author of this article, email mdonlon@globalspec.com