'NanoQuench project is about the development of alternative methods to coat indewelling medical devices to control microbial biofilms with relevance to clinical drug resistance. Biofilms are bacterial communities embedded in a self-produced polymeric matrix that commonly grow on indwelling medical devices, such as catheters. This mode of growing is believed to be regulated by a quorum-sensing (QS) system, a unique mechanism of communication that bacterial cells use through the secretion and uptake of small hormone-like molecules, called autoinducers. Due to their innate resistance to the immune system and low susceptibility to antibiotics, the microbial biofilms are difficult to treat and are a major factor in the morbidity and mortality of most infectious diseases. Methods by which the initial stages of bacterial attachment and biofilm formation can be restricted or prevented are therefore needed. Technologies that avoid catheter biofilm formation are based mainly on the application of conventional antimicrobial agents. However, the high resistance of bacteria within the biofilm makes any single therapeutic intervention unlikely to have sufficient effect.
This project focuses on the development of an integrated technological platform comprising quorum quenching enzymes and novel antibacterial agents (nanoantibiotics), able to counteract biofilm formation and at the same time avoid development of bacterial resistance to the therapy. These functional compounds will be coated onto catheters via layer-by-layer technique or a novel ultrasonic process.'