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March 1, 2018

Project Spotlight: CHARM – Nanoparticles and Laser Energy in Combatting Infectious Disease

CAMRIS is supporting the Naval Medical Research Unit – San Antonio’s Craniofacial Health and Restorative  Medicine (CHARM) directorate to develop novel laser-acoustic techniques and nanoparticle technologies in treating infections.

CAMRIS is applying the latest scientific knowledge in the use of nanoparticles in developing novel antibacterial therapeutic approaches to treat infectious diseases and multidrug-resistant bacteria. To overcome and remove barriers known to cause antibacterial drug resistance, our team at NAMRU-SA is developing a platform that uses targeted gold nanoparticles through a process that can locally ablate away barriers and kill bacterial cells.  

The gold particles have considerable plasmonic properties that when exposed to low-power laser energy can markedly increase and convert that laser energy into heat. The heat then can trigger coagulation of biofilms, as well as DNA denaturation and killing of bacterial cells.

Currently, the CAMRIS team is devising methods to ensure selective delivery of the gold nanoparticles for targeted killing on infected regions, thus mitigating any potential damage to surrounding healthy tissue.