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Mark Gontsarik

Mark Gontsarik

PhD Student

Current research

Title: Lipid Nanocarriers for Delivery of Antimicrobial Peptides
Summary: The project aims to develop a nanocarrier system designed to encapsulate and protect antimicrobial peptides (AMP's) from degradation in an effort to utilize these peptides as an alternative to conventional antibiotics.
Designing efficient colloidal systems for the delivery of membrane active antimicrobial peptides requires in-depth understanding of their structural and morphological characteristics. Using dispersions of inverted type bicontinuous cubic phase (cubo-somes), we examine the effect of integrating the amphiphilic peptide LL-37 at different concentrations on the self-assembled structure and evaluate its bactericidal ability against Escherichia coli. Small-angle X-ray scattering, dynamic light scattering, and cryogenic transmission electron microscopy show that LL-37 integrates into the bicontinuous cubic structure, inducing colloidal transformations to sponge and lamellar phases and micelles in a concentration-dependent manner. These investigations, together with in vitro evaluation studies using a clinically relevant bacterial strain, established the composition–nanostructure–activity relationship that can guide the design of new nanocarriers for antimicrobial peptides and may provide essential knowledge on the mechanisms underlying the bacterial membrane disruption with peptide-loaded nanostructures. 

ID: 161747592