Development of a novel antibacterial resin-based
silver nanocoating to protect patients from bioaerosol infections in hospitals
DoS: Dr Alexander Besinis
Second Supervisor: Dr Mathew Upton
Third supervisor: Dr Peter JenksFourth supervisor: Dr Garry Farnham
Applications are invited for a three year PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1 October 2018.
This project is an exciting opportunity to develop novel antibacterial resin-based silver nanocoated surfaces to reduce healthcare associated, drug resistant infections. The interdisciplinary project combines nanotechnology with leading microbiology expertise, in a real-world clinical setting to investigate the efficacy of antibacterial surfaces in reducing microbial colonisation of hospital sanitary plumbing systems (SPS).
Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAI) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are leading priorities for the NHS. One source of HCAI is bacteria forming extensive biofilms in SPS, including sink traps (U-bends). These SPS biofilms are ideal breeding grounds for AMR and they represent a key source of bioaerosols that can escape into surrounding room spaces, exposing vulnerable patients to a high risk of infections. Controlling this reservoir could substantially reduce drug resistant HCAI.
Metal nanoparticles offer an attractive antibacterial solution, as they are not affected by acquired resistance to currently available antibiotics and they have longer term efficacy than traditional disinfectants. We have successfully developed and applied novel nanocoatings to inhibit biofilm formation on human tissues and medical implants. In this project, we will develop similar surfaces for use in SPS. The effect of novel surfaces will be evaluated in a laboratory setting and leading candidates tested in clinical SPS, with impact on bacterial loads assessed using culture and DNA sequence based approaches.
The successful candidate will work in a team of bioengineers and academic and clinical microbiologists, with excellent training provided at the School of Engineering, Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and Plymouth Derriford Hospital NHS Trust.