The NEL, in collaboration with Ana Traven's Fungal Pathogen lab, have been granted seed funding from the Monash Engineering Faculty to investigate the interactions between organosilica nanosensors and fungal pathogens. The pathogen under investigation is candida albicans which is can cause life-threatening bloodstream infections in hospital patients who are immunocompromised (e.g. those people unergoing treatment for cancer, HIV, and other chronic conditions). We plan to produce a library of different nanoparticles (varying size, polymer coating, charge, etc) and then observe how they interact with c. albicans in culture, and in mouse models of infection. From this study we hope to select a nanosensor that can be used to identify the presence of a fungal infection inside the body (e.g. catheter-related infections).
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