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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

e-coli 36

Dr Ioanna Mela’s paper on DNA nanostructures that can specifically target bacteria has been published by Angewandte Chemie, a leading Chemistry journal of the German Chemical Society. The paper by Dr Mela, Postdoc in the Laser Analytics group, comes after the pre-print of the same study was covered in the Christmas and New Year issue of New Scientist.

In her paper, Dr Mela focuses on the use of DNA origami nanostructures, functionalised with aptamers, as a vehicle for delivering the antibacterial peptide lysozyme in a specific and efficient manner. Dr Mela and colleagues from the Laser Analytics Group used stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (dSTORM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) to characterise the DNA origami nanostructures, and structured illumination microscopy (SIM) to assess the binding of the origami to the bacteria.

Coming to the conclusion that treatment with lysozyme-functionalised origami slows bacterial growth more effectively than treatment with free lysozyme, her results also demonstrate the specificity and efficiency of the nanostructure as a drug delivery vehicle. “It is fantastic that the article is now published, as it brings the first part of the study to a conclusion that can form the basis for more applied and even pre-clinical projects and gives us the potential to initiate exciting collaborations!” she commented.

The application of Dr Mela’s work is far-reaching and especially relevant with an important socio-economic impact as it focuses on the potentiation of existing antimicrobials, a key step in improving the performance of antibiotics, with the potential to use the technology as a tool against antibiotic resistance,

Read the full paper here

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