Nanochemical Approaches for Diagnosis and Treatment of Bacterial Infections
  • Hyun Jung Chung
  • SLS Colloquia / 2017.11.02. 04:00pm / Room N104, Bldg110

The emergence and spread of infectious pathogens is a major threat to the community and global health. Moreover, the overuse of antibiotics with broad spectrum has given rise to superbugs, which results in limited options for treating the infections. To solve this problem, we first need a facile method to rapidly diagnose the infection with high sensitivity and specificity, and secondly a specific treatment strategy that can target different types of pathogens selectively. We have investigated various molecular labeling approaches using multifunctional nanomaterials and rapid linking chemistries, for rapid and sensitive detection of bacterial pathogens. Various molecular ligands such as small molecule drugs and oligonucleotide probes were used to detect different types of multidrug-resistant bacteria. Novel ligands using antibiotic molecules including vancomycin and colistin were used for differential labeling of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. As the labeling material, fluorescent carbon dot nanoparticles were shown to enable simple visualization of nucleic acid targets in point-of-care settings. Furthermore, we also developed a target-specific treatment strategy for the infections based on nonviral genome editing. Using the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing system, nano-sized complexes were prepared by polymer-derivatization of Cas9 and single-guide RNA. The nanocomplexes allowed highly efficient, target-specific killing of multidrug-resistant bacteria, which shows high potential as a therapeutic in the clinic that can overcome safety issues for the case of current virus-based strategies.


Keywords: infection, bacteria, multidrug resistance, nanomaterials, diagnosis, therapeutic