MUBANY - Mechanistically Understand the Bactericidal Action of Nanopillar Topography

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Oral and Dental Science


Nature-inspired nanopillared surfaces demonstrate a means by which bacterial colonisation on surfaces can be controlled, and to do so is what this research aims to discover. It is the underpinning mechanism that is not yet fully resolved, impeding the development of novel antimicrobial surfaces and their implementation in real-world applications. MUBANY aims to investigate the kinetics of interactions between nanopillar surfaces and bacterial cell wall leading to cell death, focusing on deciphering time-resolved interactions at nanometer scales. For the first time, the metabolic activity of the surface attached bacteria will be assessed by Raman spectroscopy coupled with stable isotope probing in correlation with live/dead screening of bacteria. The project will combine a complementary suite of 2D/3D imaging modalities in a correlative workflow with a cryogenic sample preparation method, advancing the current state-of-the-art practices. This approach will establish ground truth data to elucidate the bactericidal mechanism of nanopillar topography. The most effective surface parameters to achieve optimal bactericidal activity will be determined using fabricated nanopillar polymer surfaces as test substrates. This fellowship will enable the applicant to conduct an original and robust research program, placing him at the forefront of an emerging field of bio-nanomaterials. An extensive training program will support the applicant to gain research skills in advanced nanofabrication, correlative microscopy, quantitative data analysis and improve his transferrable skills in communication, grant writing, and project management. The applicant will extend his professional network to the UK and EU. The socio-economic benefits of this research extend beyond the obvious scientific and health outcomes with planned public engagement activities raising citizen awareness of multidisciplinary research approaches to combat critical global challenges like antimicrobial resistance.


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