Design and implementation of silver-based nanoparticles for combating antibiotic resistance (VARIANT)


Rapid increase of resistant bacterial infections is a major public health threat. Hence exploration of alternative treatment procedures including development of nanomaterial based therapeutic strategies is receiving much attention. Multi-resistant bacterial strains and biofilm formation are major causes of healthcare associated infections including complicated surgical site infections, infections of skin and soft tissue. Purulent wounds are associated with microbial persistence that alters healing and can lead to septic complications.

VARIANT aims to utilize three types of silver-based nanocomposites, Ag/CaO, Ag/ZnO, chlorhexidine + Ag nanoparticles (NPs), which have previously demonstrated antibacterial effect in vitro and in vivo. By combination and integration of these nanomaterials into the novel nanofibrous wound healing patches the project aims to improve the application, efficacy and delivery of antimicrobials lowering the tendency of antimicrobial resistant bacteria to form biofilms and minimizing the risks of blood stream infections. The new patches are expected to lack toxic impact and have advanced biocompatibility and controlled degradation time. They will be based on poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA)-chitosan electrospun scaffolds and compared with the existing commercially available bandages, patches and antibiotics to estimate their antibacterial efficacy against MRSA in a mouse model. Unlike the conventional antibiotics, Ag NPs based therapeutic agents are expected to overcome the formation of biofilms and mechanisms of bacterial resistance.

Project partners

  • Joerg Opitz, Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS, Germany (Coordinator)
  • Maksym Pogorielov, University of Latvia, Latvia
  • Rafal Banasiuk, NanoWave, Poland
  • Cecilia StĂ„lsby Lundborg, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden