Additive Manufacturing Technologies (AMT)
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BREATH

In March 2020, Dr Guillaume Olivier was granted a FWF stand-alone project, called BREATH.

 

The aim of the “Biofilm-REsponsive Adjuvant as novel THerapeutic approach” (BREATH) project is to develop 3D models of biofilm using 3D Bioprinting, to mimic cystic fibrosis-lung infection. Because of the presence of a sticky mucous secreted in the lung of CF-patients, bacteria (with Pseudomonas aeruginosa being predominant) will develop rapidly and form a biofilm. The specificity of this biofilm relies in its extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) composition, with high amount of alginate. The presence of alginate, with the other EPS, render the infection extremely, or even impossible to eradicate. As very few antibiotics have been discovered since several decades, the scientific community must focus its effort in optimising the efficacy of the ones currently available, which is the goal of the BREATH project.

A key point of the BREATH project is to develop in vitro a simplified 3D model of biofilm with features and characteristics relevant to mimic CF-lung condition. This model will be used as an in vitro tool to rapidly test antibiotics combined to new adjuvants, which could synergize their efficacy.

 

To reach the goal of BREATH, this multidisciplinary project gathers scientific expertise in biomaterials, chemistry, microbiology, in biointerface and pharmaceutical sciences. Researchers from TU Wien (Dr. Guillaume O and Prof. Ovsianikov A., Institute of Materials Science and Technology, 3D Printing and Biofabrication Group) in collaboration with the BOKU (Prof. Reimhult E., the Institute for Biologically Inspired Materials) are involved in this project.

If successful, our strategy could be employed to treat not only CF-lung infection but also to develop novel drug delivery systems that could potentially optimize the treatment of other biofilms and chronic infections.