Project: Targeting of material's antimicrobial activity by newly engineered peptides

With the growing awareness of bacterial and viral infections, antimicrobial materials have become increasingly important in many areas of application, among which the (bio)medical and hygiene fields represent only a few of the most important areas for which there is a demand for improved antimicrobial activity. Among all the antimicrobials that have been discovered and applied, host-defence antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that interfere with microbial viability by multi-targeted non-specific modes of action have been shown to be most interesting, because of their ability to target a particularly broad-spectrum of pathogens and to challenge microbial capacity in developing resistance mechanisms. However, the increase in contagious microbial diseases as well as environmental infections makes it demandable to have materials providing not just effective (against a broad spectrum of bacteria and fungal species) and long lasting antimicrobial properties, but also to preserve a constant and well defined biological environment. Therefore, the aim of this project is to develop a new class of optimally functioning AMPs by insertion of specific sequence regions into their structures, in order to increase both the activity and the selectivity against target pathogenic microorganisms,and when applicable to reach synergy, long term and controllable activity between AMPs acting by different modes of action thus targeting of material’s antimicrobial properties. Another advantage will be in controlling of AMPs binding via inserted specific linkers and using non-toxic bio-chemical and site-specific enzymatic approaches enabling the applying of different AMPs along a polymer backbone, ensuring non-leaching activity. Plasma pre-treatment of material surfaces will be performed in order to improve the availability and selectivity of reactive groups for AMPs grafting or to improve the adhesion of the polymeric coat into which the AMPs would be previously formulated. Alternatively, the AMPs will be incorporated into polymer fibres during electro-spinning. The project will focus on the needs of three industrial partners involved (i.e. therapeutic treatment of infectious diseases in antimicrobial biomaterial devices for soft-tissue regeneration, in neurosurgery, cloths for hygiene and bio-protection), but with an option to be exploded on further applicationssuch as in cosmetics, pharmacology, packaging and food carrier sciences, for instance. By developing new technologies and breakthrough innovations for specific applications, direct socio-economic benefit to the participating companies is expected leading to their improved competitive edge in EU as well as against developing countries.

Acronym ANTIMICROB PEPTIDES (Reference Number: BBM-1845)
Project Topic Bio-based and bio-inspired materials
Network MATERA+
Call Matera+ Call

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 University of Maribor Coordinator Slovenia
2 Israel Institute of Technology Partner Israel
3 Stazione Sperimentale per la Seta Partner Italy
4 Deltamed LLC Partner Turkey
5 Di.Pro s.a.s. di Buemi Enrico & C Partner Italy
6 Lokateks, Skofja Loka d.o.o. Partner Slovenia