The accelerated drug resistance of bacteria is one of the most serious problems in global healthcare and the difficulties in finding new antibiotic drugs are even more challenging. Almost 80% of bacterial infections of living tissues are associated with bacterial biofilms, including lung infections of cystic fibrosis patients, colitis, urethritis, conjunctivitis, otitis, endocarditis and periodontitis. Multivalency is ubiquitous in biological interactions, especially in carbohydrate-mediated processes. The low affinity of carbohydrate-mediated interactions is compensated by clustering of the ligands. However, in real biological systems, the interfaces are usually not flat, which exhibit distinct size-features from microns (e.g., cell membranes) or sub-micron (e.g., organelles or vesicles) to several nanometers (e.g., proteins, micelles). theoretical investigation indicated the size may have great influence on folding of proteins adsorbed on nanoparticles. At the same time, gold nanoparticles have interesting characteristics including a three-dimensional (3D) polyvalent carbohydrate network, a globular shape and a chemically well-defined composition.
In this project, we have designed novel multivalent gold nanoparticles with functionalized fullerene-C60, to investigate size-effect of inhibition of bacterial biofilms by the gold nanoparticle conjugates.