Advancing wound care with nucleic-acid-based nanocarriers - What benefits can we achieve? 

Multicellular communities of bacteria, commonly termed as biofilms are recognised as the leading cause of chronic infections and account for at least two-thirds of all clinical infections. The sole reliance on antibiotics for biofilm therapy has been partially successful due to poor biofilm penetration and the presence of persister cells. Consequently, the high tolerance of biofilms to antibiotic treatment coupled with the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria highlights the need for new antimicrobial strategies to effectively combat biofilm infections. In recent works, Dr. Obuobi and team have demonstrated the benefits of nucleic-acid-based materials as drug delivery platforms against bacterial infections and in wound care.

The present TFS-funded project will therefore provide key answers on how nucleic-acid hybrids can be tailored in biofilm therapy and wound healing. The team will explore rational design strategies to design wound dressings based on nucleic-acid hybrids with a focus on biofilm targeting, controlled drug release and enhanced/synergistic antibiofilm response. Subsequently, the potent carriers will be evaluated for the antibacterial potency using translational models of wound infections. To promote wound healing, the inflammatory response of the materials and how this can be controlled will be investigated.

This project has recieved research funding from the Tromsø Research Foundation (Tromsø, Norway)