What effects do silica nanoparticles have on the growth and viability of the deadly human pathogen Candida albicans? Furthermore, if we wanted to make implantable medical devices that employ silica nanoparticles, how do they interact with whole blood, and particularly the immune cells that circulate in our bodies?
These are the questions that Vidhi Kesarwani posed in this study recently published in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. This is our group's first publication with Associate Professor Ana Traven at the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute. The Traven lab is focussed on how C. albicans causes deadly bloodstream infections, the immune interactions with the pathogen, and how to develop new sensors and therapies to manage infections.
This foundational study sets the baseline for developing diagnostic or therapeutic biomaterials and biodevices for bloodstream infections involving nanoparticles. The work was only possible by engineers and microbiologists collaborating in the lab. We look forward to more Hons/PhD projects in this area.