Photography

Blue Comet

Rohan Satishkumar and Alexey Vertegel

Blue Comet by Rohan Satishkumar and Alexey Vertegel

Staphylococcus aureus (literally the "golden cluster seed" or "the seed gold") is an opportunistic Gram-positive pathogen capable of causing a wide range of infections. The use of such antibacterial enzymes attached to biodegradable and biocompatible polymer nanoparticles is of special interest because of enhanced stability of enzyme-nanoparticle conjugates and the possibility of targeted delivery at the site of infection.

Currently, there is a constant need for new antistaphylococcal drugs owing to the development of antibiotic-resistant strains. Use of proteins and peptides as antimicrobial agents is inspired by nature and has recently attracted much attention as an antibiotic-free approach to treat bacterial infections. Lysostaphin is an antibacterial enzyme which specifically cleaves cross-linked pentaglycine bridges in the peptidoglycan of S. aureus, thereby hydrolyzing the cell wall and lysing the bacteria. The use of such antibacterial enzymes attached to biodegradable and biocompatible polymer nanoparticles is of special interest because of enhanced stability of enzyme-nanoparticle conjugates compared to that of free enzyme and the possibility of targeted delivery at the site of infection. The objective of this approach was to study and compare the antimicrobial activity of lysostaphin adsorbed on the surface of 200 nm PLA (poly(lactic acid)) nanoparticles and compare the activity of conjugated lysostaphin to that of the free enzyme. Such enzyme-nanoparticle conjugates have a potential for becoming novel therapeutic agents for treatment of antibiotic-resistant S. Aureus infections.

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