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 Stephen McKenna

Stephen McKenna

Research student, School of Dentistry





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