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Peptide-functionalized POMs as biofilm disruption agents: searching for synergy in bactericidal materials


Antimicrobial resistance is an increasingly serious threat to global public health and immediate action must be taken to prevent its ever-increasing spread. One approach to overcome this problem is the development of new materials and coatings with bactericidal action; in particular those which tackle biofilm formation specifically. By inhibiting the growth of biofilms, bacteria become more sensitive to treatment and resistance diminishes. The applicant has designed PePiPOM to develop peptide-functionalized polyoxometales (POMs) that possess synergic bactericidal activity. The PePiPOM materials combine the anti-aggregation activity of POM molecules (key to tackling growth of biofilm matrix) with the bactericidal effect of POMs + antimicrobial peptides (to rupture bacterial cell membranes and/or internalise and destroy bacterial cells). Central to the success of this proposal is a novel approach for the synthesis of POM-hybrids whereby an “on-POM polymerisation” will be used to produce peptide-POM hybrids. The design of the antimicrobial peptides will also play a key role in the success of the project, since they will provide the required properties for an improved and synergistic activity. The resulting PePiPOM biofilm inhibitors will be tested for both their anti-aggregation and antibacterial activity, and the most effective candidates will be evaluated as anti-biofilm agents on plastic and metal surfaces. The fundamental academic aspects of these results will be of interest to the chemistry and microbiology communities and their application of great relevance to industry and the general public. The PePiPOM MCSA will open new research horizons for hybrid materials with synergic antimicrobial properties, but also importantly, will offer a real boost in the career development of the applicant on her route to achieving her professional career objectives.

Field of science

  • /medical and health sciences/health sciences/public and environmental health
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/microbiology/bacteriology
  • /medical and health sciences/basic medicine/pharmacology and pharmacy/drug resistance/antibiotic resistance

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-EF-ST - Standard EF


Calle Serrano 117
28006 Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 172 932,48