The Woolcock Institute of Medical Research

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ARC Funding to Develop Nanotechnologies Targeting Bacterial and Fungal Biofilms

ARC Funding to Develop Nanotechnologies Targeting Bacterial and Fungal Biofilms

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

We are proud to announce Professor Daniela Traini and Professor Paul Young from the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research together with Aradigm Corporation were awarded an Australian Research Council Linkage Project grant of $420,000 for three years. This project aims to develop nano-particulate systems based on a single platform technology that can be delivered as an aerosol. The current lack of a suitable formulation and delivery system hinders the eradication of fungal and bacterial biofilms from surfaces. These new systems will have enhanced residency time, penetration properties and effectiveness in biofilms. This project intends to understand the properties that govern the formation and interactions in these systems, and develop in-vitro tools that the wider scientific community can use. The project expects to generate a single platform that can be used for the eradication of biofilms in numerous applications, from healthcare to agriculture.      

The adverse impact of bacterial and fungal biofilms in the medical field including medical devices, organ transplantation and many severe infections with organisms such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and non-tuberculous mycobacteria, is a significant problem,” said Professor Daniela Traini, Woolcock Institute, University of Sydney School of Medicine, and the Project Leader for this program.

Biofilms are not only ubiquitous; they exhibit a recalcitrance to control. According to the United States National Institutes of Health, more than 60% of all microbial infections are caused by biofilms. While acute infections involving motile bacteria are generally treatable with antibiotics and antifungals, once a biofilm is established the infection is often untreatable.”

We are grateful that the Australian government has chosen to fund this important collaborative program on biofilms which may lead to beneficial treatments for patients with severe lung infections. Our colleagues at the Woolcock Institute have world class expertise and equipment to study the effect of nanotechnologies on biofilms. These efforts build upon the body of knowledge that has already accumulated through Aradigm’s development of inhaled liposomal ciprofloxacin formulations for treatment of severe lung infections,” said David Cipolla, PhD, Vice President Pre-Clinical R&D, Aradigm Corporation.

More information about Aradigm can be found at

Details of the ARC Linkage Grant are available here.

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