The impending and increasing threat of antimicrobial resistance has led to a greater focus into developing alternative therapies as substitutes for traditional antibiotics for the treatment of multi-drug resistant infections.1 Our group has developed a library of short, cost-effective, diphenylalanine-based peptides (X1-FF-X2) which selective eradicate (viability reduced >90% in 24 hours) the most resistant biofilm forms of a range of Gram-positive and negative pathogens including: methicillin resistant and sensitive Staphyloccoccus aureus and Staphyloccoccus epidermidis; Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus mirabilis and Escherichia coli. They demonstrate a reduced cell cytotoxic profile (NCTC929 murine fibroblast) and limited haemolysis.2 Our molecules have the ability respond to subtle changes in pH, associated with bacterial infection, self-assembling to form β-sheet secondary structures and supramolecular hydrogels at low concentrations (~0.5%w/v). Conjugation of variety of aromatic-based drugs at the X1 position, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), confer further pharmacological properties to the peptide motif enhancing their therapeutic potential. In vivo studies using waxworms (Galleria mellonella) provide promising preliminary results demonstrating the low toxicity and high antimicrobial activity of these low molecular weight gelators in animal models. This work shows biofunctional peptide-based nanomaterials hold great promise for future translation to patients as antimicrobial drug delivery and biomaterial platforms.3  G. Laverty, S.P. Gorman and B.F. Gilmore. Int.J.Mol.Sci. 2011, 12, 6566-6596.  G. Laverty, A.P. McCloskey, B.F. Gilmore, D.S. Jones, J Zhou, B Xu. Biomacromolecules. 2014, 15, 9, 3429-3439.  A.P. McCloskey, B.F. Gilmore and G.Laverty. Pathogens. 2014, 3, 791-821.
|Number of pages||22|
|Publication status||Published - 08 Sep 2015|
|Event||IMAP 2015: 5th International Meeting on Antimicrobial Peptides - Royal Society of Chemistry, London , United Kingdom|
Duration: 07 Sep 2015 → 08 Sep 2015
|Conference||IMAP 2015: 5th International Meeting on Antimicrobial Peptides|
|Period||07/09/2015 → 08/09/2015|