An increase in antibiotic resistance along with a decrease in antimicrobial products coming to market has compounded into a global issue that must be addressed. Biofilms are a morphological state of many pathogenic microbes that significantly augments their resistance to antimicrobial agents. Today, there is a need not only for groundbreaking strategies that are effective against drug resistant pathogens in their biofilm form, but also for tools to efficiently grow reproducible biofilms for development of anti-biofilm products. In this work, the design of a novel reactor for biofilm testing and the development of a model live biotherapeutic product that targets and delivers antimicrobial products to specific biofilms are described. The biofilm reactor is a high-throughput laminar flow reactor that is capable of producing uniform biofilm on surfaces for efficient subsequent testing. The live biotherapeutic is an engineered strain of Lactococcus lactis that specifically attaches to Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm structures using surface display technology. Preliminary testing was performed to characterize the anti-biofilm properties of multiple wild-type lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains in order to choose the most effective strains for further development of the anti-biofilm component.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. 2014. Major: Microbial Engineering. Advisor: Christine Salomon. 1 computer file (PDF); 82 pages.
Development of Novel Tools to Study and Combat Pathogenic Microbial Biofilms.
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