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Assessment of the antimicrobial properties of nitric oxide-releasing nano/biomaterials to combat of Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Grant number: 21/13821-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 20, 2022
Effective date (End): September 19, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology
Principal Investigator:Amedea Barozzi Seabra
Grantee:Bianca de Melo Santana
Supervisor: Myron Christodoulides
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Naturais e Humanas (CCNH). Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC). Ministério da Educação (Brasil). Santo André , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Southampton, England  
Associated to the scholarship:20/08566-7 - Preparation of magnetic nanoparticles of Fe3O4@SiO2 containing nitric oxide for biomedical applications, BP.IC


Neisseria gonorrhoeae is an obligate human bacterium responsible for causing gonorrhea. It infects the mucosal epithelium of the male urethra and female endo/ectocervix, causing more than 87 million cases per year. Although antibiotics have been successful for treating gonococcal infections, N. gonorrhoeae has developed multidrug resistance, being among the most multidrug-resistant bacteria in circulation nowadays, and requires the development of new treatments to overcome this problem. Nitric oxide (NO) is an important pharmaceutical agent due to its therapeutic properties, such as antimicrobial effects, and is being considered a potent antibiotic agent against Gram-positive and negative bacteria. However, biomedical applications of NO are limited by its short half-life and accurate concentration. NO donor species with highest stability have been used to carry and deliver NO in biomedical applications. In order to enhance NO delivery and adjust the pharmacokinetic properties, NO donors are usually incorporated into nanomaterials, resulting in nanovehicles capable of releasing NO in a dose-controllable manner. Silica nanoparticles can be used as a nanovehicle considering their biocompatibility and porosity, and they are able to provide a nearly constant chemical environment for the loaded substances and prevent leakage. In addition, the incorporation of NO donors into a biocompatible hydrogel matrix allows an enhanced residence time of the NO at the target site of administration. In this context, the aims of the project are to evaluate the antibacterial effects of NO-releasing silica nanoparticles and NO-releasing Pluronic hydrogel against N. gonorrhoeae, performing a comparison with antibiotics typically used against this pathogen. (AU)

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