BECAS FULBRIGHT / FUNDACIÓN BUNGE Y BORN / FUNDACIÓN WILLIAMS
Electrochemical deposition of antimicrobial gels formed by self-assembled peptide amphiphiles
University of Nebraska Medical Center
The project consists on the development of a method to deposit thin antimicrobial gels on conductive surfaces that can be used in the future for medical applications. The gels will be made of self-assembled nanofibers of peptide amphiphiles (Pas), wich will be deposited by an electrochemical reaction that triggers the formation of PA nanofibers via a change in the local pH. The projects will be fulfilled in three stages: 1) The optimization of the method to prepare the gels, 2) the study of the possibility of encapsulating amphiphilic molecules within the gel using fluorescent probes, and 3) the encapsulation o fan antibiotic using the insights gained in the previous stage. This way, we expect to generate an antimicrobial coating that attack bacteria by two synergetic mechanisms: the disruption of the bacterial membrane by the cationic PAs forming the fibers, and the delivery of the antibiotic embedded into the gel directly into the bacteria. We expect that this novel concept in antimicrobial coatings will find applications in different areas of medicine, for example to prevent the occurrence of osteomielitis and to avoid biofilm formation on surgical instruments.