Development of a Multi-Functional Nano-Agent with Photo-Chemical Antimicrobial Properties for Treatment of Bacterial Infection in Artificial Implant ( I )

Project Details


[1] Specific Aim: We aim to design and fabricate multifunctional indocyanine green (ICG)-rifampicin (RIF) loaded poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles (IRPNPEs), and explore their potential of photochemo-therapeutics on treatment of microbial infection happened in porous medium such as implants.[2] Background: For the treatment of implant infection, one of the most difficulties is that the bacteria adhere to the equipment tightly due to protection by biofilm in the dead space and thus hard to be removed. To solve this situation, surgical debridement and replacement of a new material is necessary but it is often time- and money consuming and may cause great pain to the patient. In addition, the drug resistance of bacteria to antibiotics may raise another issue to be concerned. In terms of adjuvant antimicrobial therapeutics, phototherapy has been extensively investigated in both academic and clinical aspects since it can provide several advantages such as exceptional bactericidal effect and high versatility, and ICG, a water-soluble tricarbocyanine dye, is one of few clinically proved photosensitizers. However, due to its inherent lack of light / thermal stability, the material is greatly limited in practical application. Taken all together, it is desired to develop an ICG-stable nanoagent with photo-chemotherapeutic functionality for treatment of bacterial infection in implants.[3] Advantages: The developed IRPNPs may provide following advantages in clinical use: 1) Compared with antibiotics alone, the high temperature and singlet oxygen generated by the IRPNPs may provide more chances to destroy the biofilms located in the dead space and thereby enhance the bactericidal effect. 2) Both ICG and RIF are encapsulated in the particles and that may prevent ICG degradation and provide a desired RIF release efficiency through an appropriate drug carrier design. 3) The IRPNP can simultaneously provide photothermal-, photodynamic-, and chemical treatments whereby the efficacy of antimicrobial therapy may be dramatically enhanced. 4) Since the IRPNP can offer adjuvant phototherapy, the effective dose of RIF provided by the IRPNP is supposedly lower than that performed in normal antibiotic treatment, and therefore the level of chemotherapy-induced side effect on patients and drug-resistance of bacteria can be reduced. [4] Qualification/Capability: The project PI (YH Lee) has robust research background in the fields of nanomedicine and drug delivery, and has practical hands-on experience on design and manufacture of nano-drug carrier in the past 5 years. The partner company; Yu Green Co. Ltd., is a well-established biotech/material company with strong knowledge/professions in fundamental material sciences, applications of antibacterial biomaterials, and instrumental analysis. Therefore, such partnership is perfectly qualified to conduct this industry-academia collaboration project.[5] Research Schedule: The overall task in this IRPNP study can be divided into four phases. In this project, we will finish 1) the 1st section of “To fabricate, characterize and optimize the IRPNP” (1 - 7 Month) and 2) the 2nd section of “To assess the antibacterial capability and dose efficacy of the IRPNP through an in vitro microbial assay” (8 - 12 Month).
Effective start/end date1/11/1931/10/20

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


  • PLGA nanoparticle
  • Implant infection
  • Biofilm
  • Photothermal therapy
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Antimicrobial agent.


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