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PROJECTS

ESR1 project

Rapid paper-based sensor for the detection of biofilm formation

Description

The objective of this project is to develop biosensors based on lateral flow immunoassays targeting signaling molecules. These compounds are released at early stages of quorum sensing. The strips will be coupled to an electromagnetic sensor based on impedance measurements. Sensitivity requirements will be explored by synergic effects among nanoparticles and transducers. The sensing platforms will be used to test novel biocides and evaluate antimicrobial susceptibility.

Research fields: Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology, Nanoscience, Pharmacy

Main Supervisor(s): María Carmen Blanco López (cblanco@uniovi.es) and Montserrat Rivas (rivas@uniovi.es)

Host Institution:

ESR2 project

Novel nanomaterials for enhanced antibiofilm effect

Description

This project aims to develop effective formulations based on nanoparticles and nanovesicles for breaking biofilms and/or prevent their growth. Properties of surfaces modified by antibacterial nanovesicles and/ or conjugated with antimicrobial inorganic nanoparticles will be studied. The surface of the nanomaterials will be characterized by XPS. The size, composition, and charge of the vesicle, pH and temperature sensitivity, fluidity and permeability of the membrane of nanocapsules will be tuned for a range of selected applications.

Research fields: Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology, Nanoscience, Pharmacy

Main Supervisor(s): María Carmen Blanco López (cblanco@uniovi.es) and Gemma Gutiérrez (gutierrezgemma@uniovi.es)

Host Institution:

ESR3 project

Lab-on-a-Tip for Localized Biofilm Analysis and Treatment

Description

Innovative electrochemical probe microscopes and nanoscale electrochemical techniques will be used to understand microorganism adhesion to surfaces and their activity at different stages of biofilm formation. In particular, multi-functional electrochemical imaging probes (‘Lab-on-a-Tip’) will be used to map and measure chemical fluxes associated with bacterial function at the nanoscale and to deliver antibacterial agents locally and precisely. This project provides the ESR with an exciting opportunity to become expert in frontier nanoscale electrochemical and surface chemistry methods of wide applicability from the life sciences to materials science and electrochemistry.

Research fields: Chemistry, Electrochemistry, Nanoscience, Surface Chemistry

Main Supervisor(s): Patrick Unwin (p.r.unwin@warwick.ac.uk) and Julie Macpherson (j.macpherson@warwick.ac.uk)

Host Institution:

ESR4 project

Development and Application of an Electrochemical Biofilm Activity Sensor

Description

The aim of this project is the development of on-line electrochemical sensors which target biofilms commonly found in potable water supplies. An innovative biofilm sensing technology will be designed and fabricated; the factors governing the relationship between sensor response, biofilm growth and electrochemical activity will be determined. In addition, conducting diamond electrode technology will be implemented as a means to both destroy biofilms and clean the sensors in-situ. This procedure will optimize electrolysis of aqueous electrolyte to produce ozone and hydroxyl radicals.

Research fields: Chemistry, Electrochemistry, Nanoscience, Surface Chemistry

Main Supervisor(s): Patrick Unwin (p.r.unwin@warwick.ac.uk) and Julie Macpherson (j.macpherson@warwick.ac.uk)

Host Institution:

ESR5 project

Development of functionalized atomic force-scanning electrochemical probes for studying biofilm formation

Description

The aim of this project is using advanced hybrid analytical methods such as combined scanning probe techniques to study bacterial cell adhesion. Single cell force spectroscopy using novel colloidal AFM-SECM probes with potentiometric AFM-SECM probes for localized pH measurements will be further developed and applied to biolfilm studies. Nanoparticles release kinetics and on surface morphology changes in biofilms will be characterized. Stimulation experiments to locally change the microenvironment of the biofilm or bacterial aggregates or by releasing silver ions AFM tip-integrated electrode will be implemented. Changes induced may then be monitored using a multifunctional platform via IR-ATR.

Research fields: Analytical Chemistry, Electrochemistry, Spectroscopy, Nanoscience, Surface Chemistry

Main Supervisor(s): Christine Kranz (christine.kranz@uni-ulm.de) and Boris Mizaikoff (boris.mizaikoff@uni-ulm.de)

Host Institution:

ESR6 project

Analytical platforms for studying the chemical and physical properties of biofilms

Description

The main objective of this project is the development of advanced mid-infrared spectroscopic techniques for studying biofilm formation in combination with orthogonal sensing concepts such as AFM, luminescence, and electrochemical analysis techniques. Next to investigating biofilm formation, antimicrobial films and their release characteristics will be studied, and complemented by multivariate data evaluation strategies and data classification algorithms enabling advancing multi-parametric data mining.

Research fields: Analytical Chemistry, Electrochemistry, Spectroscopy, Nanoscience, Surface Chemistry

Main Supervisor(s): Boris Mizaikoff (boris.mizaikoff@uni-ulm.de) and Christine Kranz (christine.kranz@uni-ulm.de)

Host Institution:

ESR7 project

Nanoantimicrobial films: deposition, characterization and evaluation of their bioactivity properties, including ion and nanoparticle release

Description

Several classes of nanoantimicrobial thin films (NAMs) will be developed, characterized (XPS, IR, UV-Vis, TEM, SEM, AFM, etc.) and applied to the protection of surfaces. Physical, wet chemical, electrochemical and hybrid methods will be used for the synthesis/deposition of NAMs, and the relevant outcomes will be critically compared in terms of (i) material’s stability, (ii) ion release properties, (iii) absence of whole-particle release, etc. NAMs composed of Ag or Cu, or ZnO nanoparticles dispersed in organic or inorganic matrices will be obtained and tested.

Research fields: Nanoscience, Spectroscopy, Chemistry, Surface Chemistry, Electrochemistry, Physics, Biotechnology

Main Supervisor(s): Nicola Cioffi (nicola.cioffi@uniba.it)

Host Institution:

ESR8 project

Development of multi-component antimicrobial nanomaterials providing synergistic bioactivity, fighting antimicrobial resistance

Description

Development of novel synergistic nanoantimicrobials. Different classes of organic or inorganic bioactive nanoparticles will be prepared, characterized, and tested on fighting antimicrobial/antibiotic resistance. Several bioactive dispersing matrixes/polymers will be used to embed and stabilize the nanoparticles. Synergistic combination of 2 or more bioactive components within the same nanoantimicrobials will be investigated. Conventional disinfection agents such as biopolymers and quaternary ammonium salts will be tested as nanoantimicrobials coadjuvant. Composite nanoantimicrobials will be characterized by spectroscopic, morphological, and microbiological techniques at different stages of their storage and use.

Research fields: Nanoscience, Spectroscopy, Chemistry, Surface Chemistry, Electrochemistry, Physics, Biotechnology

Main Supervisor(s): Nicola Cioffi (nicola.cioffi@uniba.it)

Host Institution:

ESR9 project

In-vivo nanobioelectrodes for intracellular analysis of biofilm development and degradation

Description

The aim of this project is the development of specific in-vivo electrochemical assays for immediate analysis of bacterial growth on surfaces, the quality of bacterial films, and biofilm degradation by biocides by targeting the intracellular signaling pathways and their response to environmental changes. The ESR will develop innovative technologies based on electronic (E) beacons for intracellular monitoring of the bacterial metabolism. E-beacons will rely on redox-labelled dendrimers and DNA and peptide wires tethered to electrodes and be used as nano-electrodes transfected inside the bacterial cells.

Research fields: Nanoscience, Spectroscopy, Chemistry, Surface Chemistry, Electrochemistry, Physics, Biotechnology

Main Supervisor(s): Elena Ferapontova (elena.ferapontova@inano.au.dk)

Host Institution:

ESR10 project

Anti-microbial biofilm breaking systems based on encapsulated inhibitors and enzymes

Description

This project aims to develop antimicrobial formulations, based on functional enzymes and reactive products of their biotransformation, and such encapsulated biocides as antibiotics and antimicrobial proteins/peptides, broadly applicable for breaking the biofilm and its growth on different surfaces: steel (anticorrosion); nanostructured conductive surfaces (coating of implants); ceramics and thin plastic layer surfaces (industrial and medical cleaning). The ESR will develop formulations that in combination with optimized immobilization and encapsulation technologies will produce antifouling surface effects against a wide range of microorganisms.

Research fields: Chemistry, Electrochemistry, Nanoscience

Main Supervisor(s): Elena Ferapontova (elena.ferapontova@inano.au.dk)

Host Institution:

ESR11 project

Redox Mediators for High Sensitivity Electrochemical Detection of Biofilms

Description

The objective of this project is to create highly sensitive sensors to detect ultralow concentrations of pathogens and to understand their redox properties. The ESR will synthesize and characterise transition metal complex mediators, optimize the performance of redox mediators for electron transfer to/from microbial biofilms, and evaluate the utility of the optimised mediators for the high sensitivity, direct detection of biofilms through redox, and electrochemiluminescence detection. A particular focus will be on wireless or bipolar electrochemical detection.

Research fields: Chemistry, Electrochemistry, Nanoscience, Spectroscopy

Main Supervisor(s): Robert Forster (Robert.Forster@dcu.ie)

Host Institution:

ESR12 project

Microfluidic Device for Rapid Detection and Identification of Bacteria at the Point of Use

Description

This project aims to develop novel point-of-use electrochemical and electrochemiluminescence based sample-to-answer devices to detect and quantify bacteria present within biofilms relevant to the biomedical, as well as, food and drink industries. The overall goal is to dramatically reduce the sample-to-answer time allowing contamination to be quickly identified. The fabrication of highly efficient capture surfaces using self-assembly as well as 2D and 3D printing will be a particular focus.

Research fields: Chemistry, Electrochemistry, Nanoscience, Spectroscopy

Main Supervisor(s): Robert Forster (Robert.Forster@dcu.ie)

Host Institution:

ESR13 project

Development of novel bacteriophage-based products for biofilm removal

Description

The goal of this project is to develop a novel set of phage-based antimicrobial products to be used as disinfectants against S. aureus and S. epidermidis in clinical settings and food industries. The stability of bacteriophages on different surfaces (including food matrices) will be determined, and the putative interactions between phage-derived anti-biofilm compounds and antibiotics/disinfectants will be investigated. The cytotoxicity of antimicrobial strategies based on phages and/or nanoparticles will be tested on cell lines by using the RTCA system.

Research fields: Biotechnology, Microbiology

Main Supervisor(s): Pilar García (pgarcia@ipla.csic.es)

Host Institution:

ESR14 project

Identification of molecular targets to disperse biofilms

Description

The goal of this project is to investigate the biofilm formation ability of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains able to produce biogenic amines (BA). The ability of these bacteria to form biofilm favours their presence as contaminant microorganisms in food industry equipment and medical devices. For this reason, it is necessary the development of specific strategies to eliminate these bacteria. The genome sequencing of BA-producing LAB will be performed, and the research on the regulation of genes related to surface adhesion and biofilm formation will be carried out.

Research fields: Biotechnology, Microbiology

Main Supervisor(s): María Fernández (mfernandez@ipla.csic.es)

Host Institution:

ESR15 project

Development of a novel, non-destructive, real-time and portable method for the detection of complex bacterial biofilms in the Agri-food industry

Description

The main goal is the development of a non-destructive analysis tool to detect complex biofilms in different surfaces in contact with food, based on the use of different spectroscopy techniques (mainly NIR, hyperspectral) and the following chemometric analysis using advanced mathematical, statistical and computer science (Artificial intelligence) methodologies. The ESR will develop complex biofilms considering key parameters as maturation degree and surface material; following will design an analytical methodology to evaluate biofilms; then, correlation between generated biofilms and spectra will be established using chemometrics. Finally, new tool will be validated in ASINCAR’s pilot plant.

Research fields: Biology, Biotechnology, Computer Science, Chemical Engineering

Main Supervisor(s): Juan Díaz (juan.diaz@asincar.com) and Felipe Lombó (lombofelipe@uniovi.es

Host Institution:


Project details:

BREAKING BAD BIOFILMS.

INNOVATIVE ANALYSIS AND DESIGN RULES FOR
NEXT-GENERATION ANTIFOULING INTERFACES

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No. 813439.

  • Call identifier:

    H2020-MSCA-ITN-2018

  • Grant Agreement number:

    813439

  • Acronym:

    BREAK BIOFILMS

  • Duration:

    48 months

  • Contact:

    Project Coordinator: Carmen Blanco, Ass. Prof.
    cblanco@uniovi.es

    Project Manager: Esther Serrano, PhD.
    breakbiofilms@uniovi.es


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