Bacteria in biofilm show unique physiological characteristics that are much different from planktonic cultured phenotypes. One of the most important features of bacterial biofilms is their resistance to antimicrobial agents and the host immune system attacks. Bacteria living in biofilms can exhibit up to 1,000 time greater resistance to antibiotics than planktonic bacteria. Biofilm associated nosocomial (hospital acquired) infection and disease is currently the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, behind only heart disease, cancer and stroke. Regardless what anti-biofilm methods are used, the success rates are very limited and biofilms will nevertheless form on implanted devices. In most cases, biofilm related infections can only be cured by a high cost and undesirable procedure through the removal of the implants. In this project, we propose to fight against biofilm from a new direction by directly dealing with attached bacteria and formed biofilms. We propose to construct functional surfaces which can interrupt the formation of biofilm architecture. Our hypothesis is that biofilms formed on these functional surfaces with damaged biofilm architectures may not be able to develop antibiotic resistance. Bacteria in such biofilms may maintain antibiotic sensitivity and can be killed by ordinary antibiotic treatment. Three board objectives of this project are to 1) construct surfaces with desired structures and functions;2) study biofilm formation dynamics and morphologies on functionalized surfaces;3) test the antibiotic sensitivity of """"""""biofilms"""""""" on functionalized surfaces and study sensitizing mechanisms using different antibiotic treatment approaches and fitting data with established mathematic models.

Public Health Relevance

Biofilm Growth on Functionalized Surfaces Narrative Bacteria can attach to the surfaces of implant devices and grow into bacteria clusters (called biofilms). Unlike free bacteria, bacterial in biofilms can hardly be killed by ordinary antibiotic treatment. Biofilm associated infection and disease is currently the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, behind only heart disease, cancer, and stroke. The goal of this research is to develop new types of surfaces to prevent biofilm related infections and diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Drug Discovery and Mechanisms of Antimicrobial Resistance Study Section (DDR)
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Korpela, Jukka K
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Stevens Institute of Technology
Schools of Engineering
United States
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Traba, Christian; Chen, Long; Liang, Jun F (2013) Low power gas discharge plasma mediated inactivation and removal of biofilms formed on biomaterials. Curr Appl Phys 13:S12-S18
Traba, Christian; Chen, Long; Liang, Danni et al. (2013) Insights into discharge argon-mediated biofilm inactivation. Biofouling 29:1205-13
Traba, Christian; Liang, Jun F (2011) Susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus biofilms to reactive discharge gases. Biofouling 27:763-72