Today, penicillin, otherwise known as PEN or PCN, is probably the most popular among all the antibiotics out there. As an antibiotic, penicillin is widely used to combat bacterial infections, more particularly gram-positive infections. To be more specific, penicillin works by weakening cell wall preventing it from developing new cells; and since the entire division process cannot be completed, the bacteria later on dies.
While some claim that a Scottish scientist, Alexander Fleming, discovered it in 1928, there are also those who adhere to the idea that penicillin has already been used for medicinal purposes since the Middle Ages. What started out as inadvertent discovery and production of penicillin later became a more systematized mass production of the said drug which all began when its chemical composition was determined by Dorothy Hodgkin in 1945.
At present, penicillin is created in huge laboratories owned by international drug and pharmaceuticals corporations. Nonetheless, penicillin can still be created right at your own home. This article attempts to capture the process of how to create penicillin. (Read the disclaimer written below before you follow this article.)
- Penicillin comes from molds. Basically, Penicillin is a byproduct of Penicillium, a green or blue mold fungus, which usually grows and is found on leather, fabric, and certain foods.
- Create your own Penicillium fungus. For this experiment, use bread as breeding ground for penicillium. Get a slice of bread, and let it sit in a more or less 70 degrees Fahrenheit room. More or less, after a week or two, a green-blue mold fungus will appear. This fungus is Penicillium.
- Test the penicillin. Unless you have the tools of large drug laboratories, there’s no way of testing other than placing a sample of your product in a Petri dish with gram-positive bacteria cultures. These gram-positive bacteria must be stained. If the stained gram-positive bacteria disappear, this means you have been successful in creating penicillin.
- Isolate the penicillin. It is not enough that you have created penicillin. The most important and difficult part in creating usable penicillin is isolating it. This is why, unless you are an expert or have had extensive training and the proper laboratory and tools, you cannot create penicillin that can be ingested or used for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. The penicillin you create should only be for experimentation or academic purposes.
Disclaimer: While this articles talks about how to create penicillin, it would still be highly advisable to simply purchase penicillin in drug stores especially if you’re planning to take in penicillin to treat severe and perilous bacterial infections and if you don’t have the expertise in creating pharmaceutical products. As penicillin is basically made from molds, it would be highly dangerous for a person to take in other the types of molds wrongly separated from what you just need in making penicillin. In fact, taking certain types of molds in can cause severe irritation and complications to your body, which can even lead to death. To reiterate the point, this is just for experimentation and not for ingestion.