European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Light-REsponsive Nanomachines for Targeted Eradication of BactErial Pathogens in LocaLised InfectIONs

Project description

Nanomachines as new antimicrobial agents

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major health concern worldwide, necessitating the development of novel antibiotics. Molecular nanomachines (MNMs) are synthetic organic molecules that can penetrate lipid bilayers using a rotational movement, and they have emerged as promising antimicrobial alternatives. The EU-funded REBELLION project proposes to synthesise and screen MNMs that respond to light. Scientists will evaluate the candidate molecules for their efficacy against a range of microbial targets and for their safety in mammalian cells. Apart from greater selectivity, these innovative antimicrobials demonstrate a lower potential for the development of AMR.


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been identified as a major threat to mankind in the 21st century. Thus, there is a critical need to develop new antimicrobials and new delivery strategies to preserve the viability of the existing antibiotics. One such strategy is the use of molecular nanomachines (MNMs) for targeted and controlled inactivation of bacterial pathogens.
REBELLION aims to develop new light responsive MNMs against bacterial pathogens with minimal damage to mammalian tissues. This strategy will provide a therapeutic advantage in terms of efficacy and selectivity compared with current therapeutics while minimizing the potential for the development of AMR.
The proposed research programme combines (1) chemical synthesis of new MNMs, (2) assessment of their efficacy against clinically relevant bacterial pathogens, (3) evaluation of their safety to mammalian cells and (4) in vivo efficacy testing. The results obtained have the potential to lead to an alternative, entirely novel class of antimicrobials (MNMs) and to become a stepping stone towards future clinical trials.
REBELLION is a vital, multidisciplinary and international endeavor that will bring together this fellow’s core expertise in microbial photobiology with (1) antibiotic resistance and infection at IdISBa (beneficiary, Spain), (2) state-of-the-art technology in light-driven antimicrobial therapy, and experience in in vitro and in vivo drug efficacy testing championed by GAMA Therapeutics (host, USA) and (3) expert knowledge in nanomachine synthesis by the Nanotechnology Department of Rice University (co-host, USA).
I will be trained by top-level scientists and widen my network and competencies through advanced training in nanotechnology, infection, and drug development and testing. This action will catalyze my career into an independent and mature researcher with an eclectic skill set geared toward producing a unique contribution to European excellence in antimicrobial discovery technology.


Net EU contribution
€ 245 732,16
07120 Palma

See on map

Este Illes Balears Mallorca
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 245 732,16

Partners (1)