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Moniek Schmitz

Project description

Biomaterial-associated infections (BAI) are a major problem in modern medicine. In the field of regenerative medicine, BAI is an even bigger threat since biomaterials for in situ regeneration possess fiber-like, porous morphologies which serve as ideal niche for bacteria. Upon implantation, bacteria and tissue cells compete for the biomaterial surface. Colonization of biofilm-forming bacteria in the biomaterials results in failure of regeneration and therefore must be prevented. Current treatments, for example based on the release of antibiotics, will not provide long-term protection against BAI due to the increase of multidrug-resistant bacterial strains. Therefore, new strategies to prevent BAI should be developed.

In this project we aim to develop a polymeric supramolecular material, exerting two important functions. The material has to prevent microbial adhesion and thereby prevent biofilm formation, and has to induce endogenous (eukaryotic) cells to repair the body. Therefore we aim to develop a multi-functional supramolecular material with eukaryotic cell-adhesive and regenerative peptide sequences in conjunction with antimicrobial peptide sequence preventing bacterial colonization.

 

Techniques: peptide synthesis, Atomic Force Microscopy, QCM-D, bacterial assays such as MBC, MIC and JIS test.
Keywords: biomaterial associated infections, multi-functional biomaterial, antimicrobial peptides, supramolecular chemistry, material characterization