14 May 2019

Martin Malmsten receives 2.59 MDkk from DFF for the research project "Designed mesoporous nanoparticles for lipid membrane disruption and antimicrobial effects."

With increasing bacterial resistance against conventional antibiotics, nanoparticles are attracting interest as antimicrobials, offering advantages related to presently undeveloped bacterial resistance, as well as possibilities for triggerable antimicrobial effects. Several mechanisms have been proposed for the antimicrobial activity of nanomaterials, including direct membrane destabilization, generation of reactive oxygen species, and heating induced either by light or magnetic fields. Despite considerable work demonstrating antimicrobial effects against various pathogens, studies on the mechanisms underlying such effects remain scarce.

In the present project, focus is therefore placed on investigating membrane interactions of mesoporous silica nanoparticles, used as platform and further modified to address effects of (i) particle topography, (ii) photocatalytic effects, and (iii) photothermal effects, as well as (iv) synergistic effects and improved selectivity through the combination of these materials and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). Through this, the project aims to provide a mechanistic foundation for further development of potent and selective nanoparticle/AMP therapeutics.