Biofilms are bacterial communities encased in a self-produced hydrated polymeric matrix. An important characteristic of microbial biofilms is their innate resistance to the immune system and susceptibility to antibiotics. This resistance has made microbial biofilms a common cause of medical infections, and difficult-to-treat infections caused by colonized foreign bodies. The NOVO project aims at developing novel approaches to prevent and/or degrade biofilms on catheters elongating their usage in humans up to 10 days. Two complementary approaches for biofilm prophylaxis will be developed: A. Ultrasonic coating of Inorganic antibiofouling agents (process developed by partner BIU) based on a single step sonochemical process to: a) Produce metal fluorides or metal oxides (e.g. MgF2, ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) and simultaneously b) Impregnate them as antibacterial factors on the catheters. c) Co-coating with bio-inert polymer layers (containing highly hydrophilic antifouling polyethylene glycol, zwitterionic moieties or sugar-groups) grafted onto NPs of adjusted size to the size of MgF2/ZnO NPs or directly onto MgF2/ZnO NPs; to form a hydrogel layer for the protection of the MgF2/ZnO antibiofouling activity. B. Bio/organic antibiofouling activation: 1) Novel coating for catheters based on radical catalyzed polymers to yield anti-bacterial activity. An enzymatic reaction will be applied on the phenolic compounds to generate phenolic radicals to be further polymerized on the catheter surface as an antibiofilm agent. 2) Develop and engineer Cellobiose Dehydrogenases (CDH) that actively oxidizes and degrades biofilms polysaccharides concomitantly producing stoichiometrically H2O2 as antibacterial agent. The enzymes will be coated on the catheters via a lubricant or by the Ultrasonic (US) process after their immobilization. Some novel CDH representatives already show very low activity on glucose which should be removed by further genetic engineering.
VII Programa Marc de la Unió Europea 2007-2013
Cooperation Specific Programme
Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production Technologies