Stephen McKenna

Research student, Ysgol Deintyddiaeth


BSc, MSc.


Physical characterisation of the anti-biofilm effects of novel alginate oligomers from natural (seaweed) and bio-engineered sources.

It has recently been shown that low molecular weight oligomers, derived from alginate extracted from seaweed, demonstrate promising anti-biofilm and antibacterial effects. This could potentially provide an effective new therapy for the treatment of chronic Gram-negative bacterial infections in cystic fibrosis and it is currently in Clinical Phase IIb studies in Europe.
To develop this technology to its maximum potential, a greater understanding is needed in the mechanism of these anti-biofilm and antibacterial effects. This in turn, will inform both the design and delivery of future oligosaccharide-based therapies. This PhD project is aimed towards areas of biological, clinical, and engineering science and will utilise previously developed techniques within the Advanced Therapies Group (ATG) to provide characterisation of the interaction between the oligomer, and bacteria and extracellular polymeric substances in the biofilm.

 Research theme

Oral and biomedical sciences