I am currently a PhD student at Helsinki University. This doctoral project, within the frame of the European Training Network (ETN) PRINT-AID, has the goal of performing antimicrobial functionality studies to drive forward the selection of the best formulations to be used in the development of anti-infective medical devices. Thus, this project will be crucial for the ETN to move from the discovery of the best antimicrobials and the preparation of formulations, to the selection of the best formulations (printed surfaces and coating solutions) that can be tested in vivo. Microorganisms will be selected based upon the frequency of the species isolated in clinical cases for the medical devices that will be studied in the project (femur implants and catheters). Values of MIC, MBC and MBEC will be measured using as reference antibiotics those used to treat these infections. Surface microbicidal activity will be assessed by the standard and modified Japanese Industrial Standard methods. Assays with the Static Biofilm Method, CDC and Drip Flow Reactors will be utilized to measure the microbicidal/anti-biofilm activity or the released antimicrobial activity. Some of these methods will be modified to simulate the conditions in which the medical devices will be used in vivo. Those with the most potent microbicidal effects, both in short and long term conditions, will be selected for the in vivo assays.
The specific objectives of this doctoral project are:
O.1: To perform in vitro measurements of MIC, MBC and MBEC of the formulations (3D-printed and inkjet-IJ) produced by the PRINT-AID consortium
O.2: To carry out antimicrobial functionality studies of the 3D-printed materials with the selected formulations or combinations that are either 3D-printed or 3D-printed/IJ-coated; these studies will include not only the materials but also the printed prototypes
O.3: To study possible cytotoxic effects of the materials in the presence of mammalian cells, and the antimicrobial/antibiofilm capability of the non-toxic materials when co-culturing bacteria with relevant mammalian cells
O.4: To study the stability (long-term antimicrobial effects) of the best materials and/or prototypes selected based on the results of O1 and O2
Several iterations of the testings in O1-O4 will likely be needed in order to select the best candidates to be used in the in vivo studies.
e-mail: ines.reigada at gmail.com
Research gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ines_Reigada_Ocana