Supervisors: Prof.ssa Federica Chiellini
Title: Design, preparation and characterization of hybrid organic/inorganic antimicrobial nanostructures
Antibiotic resistance is a major health concern causing treatment failures and patients to stay in hospital for long periods, with consequent increase of healthcare costs. An estimated 25,000 people die each year in Europe from antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. Antimicrobial resistance is caused by the evolutionary response of microorganisms to the strong selective pressure that results from over-exposure to antibiotics. For this reason, novel antimicrobials agents are urgently needed. Novel antimicrobial agents find several application in different critical areas such as textile preservation, food industry and biomedical field. The aim of the present project is the development of hybrid organic/inorganic antimicrobial nanostructures by using polysaccharides as functional polymeric matrices due to their potential advantages such as superior biocompatibility and ease of functionalization. Among natural polysaccharides, the research will be focused on polysaccharides of algal origin obtained from waste materials.
Hybrid organic/inorganic colloidal systems based on algal polysaccharides as polymeric carrier and silver nanoparticles and/or antimicrobial peptide as antimicrobial agent will be developed as novel antimicrobial formulations. The synthesized materials will be submitted to physicochemical and biological characterization to evaluate their feasibility for being applied in the envisaged applications.
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