BALI project

The main problem is that there is no effective strategy to control biofilm formation, and as a result biofilm associated infections (BAI) cannot be prevented or treated adequately.

For implant-associated biofilm infections the current treatment strategies are based on the administration of antibiotics. These antibiotics are administered systemically or locally through polymeric drug delivery systems. These treatment strategies are inadequate mainly because of,

  • Reduced or incomplete penetration of antimicrobials into biofilms.
  • Inactivation or degradation of the antibiotics before they can exert their desired effect.
  • Reduced metabolic activity of bacteria within the biofilm, rendering antibiotics ineffective.
  • Antibiotics cause release of pro-inflammatory microbial compounds facilitating microbial adhesion at the site of inflammation and impairing the host defence system.
  • At the site of the infection the concentration of the effective agent is too low, and/or its presence is too short to be effective.
  • Thus, even when an antimicrobial agent is available it is difficult to target the infection because the local delivery of the agent is insufficient as currently available polymeric drug delivery systems do not overcome these problems because the release rate of the agent cannot be controlled.

    Approximately 3% of all patients receiving implants develop biofilm associated infections, and treatment of these infections is unsuccessful in up to 32 to 82% of the cases, resulting in chronic infection and inflammation. Moreover, since the number of required long term systemic therapies with conventional antibiotics in BAI remains high, resistance towards these antibiotics will increasingly develop. This contributes to the worldwide problem of antimicrobial resistance.

    To address the problem of biofilm infection, the objectives of project BALI are based on two pillars:

  • The development of novel potent microbicidal agents (second generation SAAPs) that overcome the shortcomings of conventional antibiotics. These agents will be biofilm dispersing and immuneorchestrating Synthetic Antimicrobial and Antibiofilm Peptides (SAAPs) that will be active against a wide spectrum of bacterial and fungal species.
  • The development of innovative delivery formulations for the second generation SAAPs by tailoring a unique and well characterized drug-delivery platform (PolyPid platform). This platform allows prolonged and pre-determined release rates of SAAPs, ensures local delivery of high concentrations over a sufficient duration and can be developed into coatings for different types of implants.
  • Thus, the overall objective of project BALI is:

    To develop a unique combination of immune orchestrating synthetic antimicrobial and antibiofilm peptides (SAAPs) incorporated in novel controlled release drug delivery formulations that can control biofilm infections.