Biofilms in wound and medical devices related infections – PhD at the University of Nottingham, Deadline 24th March 2019

Project Title: Characterisation and evaluation of anti-biofilm complexes on biofilms in reference to wound and medical devices related infections

Supervisor 1: Prof Miguel Cámara (University of Nottingham)

Supervisor 2: Prof Steven Percival (5D Health Protection Group Ltd)

Division: Infections Immunity and Microbes

Application Deadline: 24th March 2019

Project Overview:

Biofilms that grow on medical devices and within both acute and chronic wounds represent a major concern to healthcare. Biofilms found in wounds in particular are considered to delay wound healing and increase the risk of a local and systemic infection (sepsis) due to their recalcitrance to presently used antimicrobial interventions. 1,2,3

New advanced smart multi-modulatory technologies that can be used to kill microorganisms, disrupt biofilms, inhibit quorum sensing molecules and treat the conditions biofilms cause do not exist in the medical device markets and are therefore urgently required in healthcare considering the growth of heathcare associated infections (HCAIs). Traditionally, the approach to reduce the risk of microbial attack has been focussed on the development of new antimicrobial agents that are not specifically designed to be effective on biofilms.

This project will involve the characterisation, development and evaluation of new next generation smartly triggered antibiofilm technologies and biomaterials, for use in medical devices and wound care. This project will focus specifically on next generation antibiofilm complexes that have been developed by the 5D Health Protection Group Ltd that have been designed to be a ‘game changer’ in the area of biofilm prevention, control and management.4 Initially the focus of this project will be on the characterisation and novel biochemical characteristics of the antibiofilm complexes. In particular understanding how the antibiofilm agents can be smartly released in changing conditions within a biofilm and wound e.g. high levels of exudate, enzymes and pH changes.  The project will also investigate the efficacy of the antibiofilm complexes on mono-culture and mixed culture biofilms, developing new biofilm models, investigating their ability to reduce and breakdown the EPS of the biofilm, interfere with bacterial mechanisms involved in biofilm formation including quorum sensing signaling pathways, investigate the anti-inflammatory capabilities and ability to cause the down-regulation/modulation of proteases, in particular matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs).

Techniques:

Microbiology and molecular biology, analytical chemistry, biofilms models and analysis, antimicrobial efficacy testing, advanced microscopy, quorum sensing signalling analysis, biochemistry of metabolic pathways

Project Funding:

University of Nottingham/5D Health Protection Group Ltd

Subject areas:

Biochemistry, Immunology, Medical/Clinical Science, Microbiology, Molecular Biology

References:

  1. Percival SL, Salisbury AM, Chen R. (2019) Silver, Biofilms and wounds: resistance revisited. Crit Rev Microbiol. Feb 22:1-15. doi: 10.1080/1040841X.2019.1573803.
  2. Percival SL. (2017) Importance of biofilm formation in surgical infection. Br J Surg. 104(2):e85-e94.
  3. Percival SL, Hill KE, Williams DW, Hooper SJ, Thomas DW, Costerton JW. (2012) A review of the scientific evidence for biofilms in wounds. Wound Repair Regen. Sep-Oct;20(5):647-57.
  4. Percival SL, Salisbury AM. (2018) The efficacy of tetra sodium EDTA on biofilms. Adv Exp Med Biol. 1057:101-110.

Contact:

For any queries or to make an application, please send your CV and Cover Letter to Dr Charlotte May:

Charlotte.May@nottingham.ac.uk