About the Project
A promising alternative to current antibiotics and disinfectants in combatting biofilm infections is by physically altering the nanotopography to form surfaces unfavourable to bacterial adhesion. This strategy of developing anti-adhesive surfaces takes inspiration from nature: shark skin is made up of tooth-like micro-scales that promote low drag and do not allow fouling organisms to attach to the surface. The nanotopography of the lotus leaf consists of small cone-like protuberances that result in a superhydrophobic surface. On these surfaces water droplets remain spherical and pick up bacteria and other contaminants, as they roll off. Surface topoography can even be bactericidal as in the case of the cicada wing in which sharp nanopillars pierce the bacterial membrane.
Surface topography-based strategies are gaining popularity as alternatives to or to work in synergy with chemical strategies to impart an antibacterial effect. This project will investigate several nanotopographical fabrication techniques to develop a fundamental understanding how topography can control antifouling and antimicrobial behaviour. The surfaces will be characterised using advanced spectroscopy and imaging techniques. Biological analysis will take place with several bacterial single clinical isolates and finally multi-species biofilm model. This fundamental knowledge will then be used to develop antimicrobial/antifouling coatings (without the use of antibiotics) for medical device industry.
This is a highly interdisciplinary project that sits at the interface between materials sciences and microbiology. The studentship will provide the candidate with a wide range of skills in basic science and translation that will strategically position them for a career in biomedical sciences/biomedical engineering. The student will have the opportunity to attend University-run courses in relevant subject areas, as well as to interact with students and postdoctoral researchers from a wide range of scientific backgrounds.
2. Antimicrobial nitric oxide releasing contact lens gels for the treatment of microbial keratitis JL Aveyard, RC Deller, R Lace, RL Williams, SB Kaye, KN Kolegraff, J Curran and RA D’Sa ACS Mater and Interf. 2019, 11, 41, 37491-37501
3. Nitric Oxide Releasing Polymeric Coatings for the Prevention of Biofilm Formation G Fleming, J Aveyard, JL Fothergill, F McBride, R Raval, RA D’Sa Polymers 2017, 9 (11), 601
4. Modified Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles with Dual Synergetic Antibacterial Effect M Michailidis, IB Sorzabal, EA. Adamidou, J Aveyard, D Grigoriev, R Raval, RA D’Sa and D Shchukin ACS Mater and Interf. 2017, 9, 44, 38364–38372
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3 year PhD Studentship in Enabling Next Generation Additive Manufacturing- Additive Manufacture of Bacterial Biofilm Resistant Surfaces using Novel High Performing Polymer “Inks” (ENG1328)
University of Nottingham