Battle against Biofilms
Today there is an increasing antibiotic resistance in society and the need of finding alternative ways of fighting bacteria is pressing, or we might once again face a reality when a simple bacterial infection may be untreatable and cause fatalities.
Infections are often caused by microbial biofilms, i.e. bacteria encapsulated in slime and living on surfaces. Biofilm bacteria are more antibiotic resistant than their corresponding planktonic, free-swimming, bacteria and thus harder to eradicate. This depends on different factors such as altered diffusion due to the slime matrix, bacterial antibiotic efflux pumps, and presence of dormant or persister cells, i.e. Inactive cells surviving stresses such as antibiotics.
My work involves different ways to eradicate biofilm bacteria and make antimicrobial implants, such as antimicrobial peptide soaked mesoporous titania for local drug delivery. In addition, I am working with genetically modified E. coli to produce the protein elastin, which will be used to enhance implants.