The prevention of adhesion of bacteria on surfaces of materials is of crucial importance in diverse fields such as medical devices, health care, hospital and dental surgery equipment, textiles, ship hull fouling and water purification systems. Once adhered on a solid surface, bacteria form colonies and subsequently biofilms that can develop into pathogenic infections. Biofilm-associated bacteria are significantly more difficult to treat compared to their planktonic counterparts, with some estimates of their tolerance to antibiotics to be between 102 and 103 times higher. This is exacerbated by the development of multidrug resistant bacteria contributing to the global epidemic of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) As such, it is important that alternative solutions to combat biofilm-associated infections are developed.
Failure to tackle AMR is estimated to cost an extra 10 million deaths per year and £64 trillion worldwide by 2050. The primary way to circumvent this is to develop new therapeutics and management strategies to repel microbial adhesion or kill any microbes via a contact killing or biocide leaching approach.
Our lab works to develop novel antimicrobials that are not antibiotics to treat infections in the eye, skin and bone . We are also interested in decontamination and purification of drinking water supplies and the development of antimicrobial coatings for marine applications.
We have 3 main streams to our research: nitric oxide releasing surfaces and therapeutics, encapsulated/immobilized antimicrobial peptides and nanotopographies to control bacterial response
We thank our funding sources for providing us the opportunity to investigate these important research questions.