An Integrated Antibacterial Nanotherapy for Infections of the Skin and Subcutaneous Tissue

Project: Research project

Project Details


Infections of the skin and subcutaneous tissue are very common conditions of hospitalization. Pathogenic bacteria are the main culprits of these infections. They not only directly cause various skin conditions but also participate in some persistent skin disorders, which increase the complexity and difficulty of treatment. Currently, antibiotic and photodynamic therapies are the main treatments for the skin and subcutaneous tissue infections. However, antibiotic resistance of bacteria has become a formidable obstacle for antibiotic therapy due to inappropriate use of antibiotics that fuels the evolution of resistant bacteria. Photodynamic therapy is an alternative treatment for skin infections because of its effective killing activity for antibioticresistant bacteria in particular; however, the penetration limitations of conventional photosensitizers used in photodynamic therapy for deep skin makes treatment of infections of subcutaneous tissues still a significant challenge. Here, we propose an integrated antibacterial nanotherapy to treat skin and subcutaneous tissue infections by combining bacteria-targeting, aptamer-functionalized gold nanostars and a flexible lysozymemodified nanowire dressing. The functionalized gold nanostar agent can destroy bacteria by localized heating at near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths that can penetrate up to 1 cm in tissue. The lysozyme-modified flexible nanowire dressing can eliminate bacteria on the skin surface as well as protect the damaged skin from reinfection after NIR treatment. Our integrated, antibacterial strategy overcomes drawbacks of conventional antibiotic and photodynamic therapies and offers a new strategy to treat skin and subcutaneous tissue infections in clinical settings.
Effective start/end date11/1/1410/31/19


  • Nanyang Technological University (Agmt 10/20/2014)


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