Targeted delivery of antibiotics using proteins that bind to bacterial biofilms

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Sch of Chemistry


Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is an urgent problem that could undermine routine healthcare. In this project we aim to develop physical science strategies to improve the efficiency of antibiotic use, and investigate physical methods of killing bacteria. The PhD student will work alongside researchers funded on EPSRC Healthcare Technologies Grant EP/W033151/1 BubblEs for TArgeting and TReatment of biOfilm InfectioNs (BETATRON). Our aim is to develop the use of microbubbles, similar to those already used as ultrasound scanning contrast agents, for imaging bacterial biofilms that cause persistent infections, and to use the microbubbles to deliver antibiotics directly to sites of persistent bacterial infections. In this PhD project we will develop site-specific chemical methods to attach multiple targeting proteins to microbeads and microbubbles. We will investigate if combinations of molecular targeting proteins improve biofilm targeting and adhesion under flow conditions. We will investigate if the combined use of targeted microbubbles and ultrasound pulses to burst the microbubbles at the site of a biofilm infection can provide enhanced antibiotic efficiency.


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