AbstractsBiology & Animal Science

Polymer-based delivery systems for support and delivery of bacteriophages

by Alyssa Marie Brown

Institution: Iowa State University
Year: 2014
Keywords: Bacteriophage; Drug Delivery; Hydrogel; Microparticle; Polyanhydride; Biomedical; Mechanics of Materials; Microbiology
Record ID: 2024613
Full text PDF: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/etd/13859



One of the most urgent problems in the fields of medicine and agriculture is the decreasing effectiveness of antibiotics. Once a miracle drug, antibiotics have recently become associated with the creation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The main limitations of these treatments include lack of both adaptability and specificity. To overcome these shortcomings of current antibiotic treatments, there has been a renewed interest in bacteriophage research. Bacteriophages are naturally-occurring viruses that lyse bacteria. They are highly specific, with each bacteriophage type lysing a narrow range of bacteria strains. Bacteriophages are also ubiquitous biological entities, populating environments where bacterial growth is supported. Just as humans are exposed to bacteria in their daily lives, we are exposed to bacteriophages as well. To use bacteriophages in practical applications, they must be delivered to the site of an infection in a controlled-release system. Two systems were studied to observe their support of bacteriophage lytic activity, as well as investigate the possibility of controlling bacteriophage release rates. First, hydrogels were studied, using crosslinking and blending techniques to achieve a range of release profiles. Second, polyanhydride microparticles were studied, evaluating release rates as a function of monomer chemistries.