Date of Award

5-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Dr. David Britt

Abstract

A thermoreversible gel for antimicrobial agent delivery would provide a novel platform suitable for medical applications from persistent infections arising from localized biofilms. Thermoreversible gels could be used to coat medical implants, to inject for subdermal treatments, or to implement in topical applications. FDA approved Pluronics® form thermoreversible gels and certain Pluronics® display inherent varying degrees of antimicrobial activity. Pluronics® have been shown to affect efflux pumps, and reduce ATP levels within the bacterial cell. In combination with antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals, Pluronics® have been used to sequester drugs and act as a delivery vehicle. With advances in nanomedicine, nanoparticles offer alternatives to traditional antibiotics. Silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) have been shown to inhibit enzymes, bind to DNA, and induce structural changes in bacterial membranes. These properties make Ag NPs a good candidate for overcoming antibiotic resistant bacteria. We designed a thermoreversible gel combining Pluronic® F-127 and Ag NPs that can be applied as a liquid to conform to the site, followed by gelation and sustained release of antimicrobials or other therapeutics.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on September 16, 2011.