Infectious diseases have started to regain their potency, becoming on par with the pre-antibiotic era. Increases in antibiotic usage is one of the main factors leading to a multitude of new, resistant strains. In many patients, bacterial infections are a cause of mucus that is unable to be effectively cleared, leading to higher bacterial retention time and ultimately, biofilm formation. This may occur due to insertion of respiratory devices to keep oxygen flowing, like in burn victims, or due to a diseased, viscous mucus state that regular pathways are powerless to remove, as seen in cystic fibrosis patients. In this light, it is imperative that we focus on routes to enhance delivery of antibiotics effectively through this altered mucus environment. Layer-by-layer nanoparticles are a unique, modular route of development that allows for controlled domains, each capable of addressing an aspect of this multi-faceted problem. A liposomal core can be drug loaded at high capacities, acting as a high concentration envelope for the drug of interest. Polyelectrolyte layers act to help stabilize intra-particle/particle, and also inter-particle/bacterial interactions, aiding in overall drug lifespan and targeting towards its final location. Finally, an outer ‘stealth’ layer provides shielding and increased efficacy by eliminating unwanted side reactions within the body. Taken together, I hope that these particles will lead to a decreased antibiotic dosage needed for patients, lowering the possibility for acquired resistance and further complications, and curing the present infection.
Email: eladdy [at] mit . edu