Specifically, our interdisciplinary platform for the development of chemicals and coatings with activity against detrimental microbial communities (including biofilms) could be a valuable basis for collaboration.
Medium throughput in vitro screening for antimicrobial compounds:
~25 different monospecies biofilm models available for bacteria in different biofilm problem fields (medicine, agriculture, water systems, household, food industry);
Realistic multispecies models available for biofilms in (i) medical implants, (ii) food industry, (iii) breweries, (iv) horticulture and (v) household environment (built based on analyses of microbial composition and matrix composition of in situ biofilms);
Collections of natural isolates available for several bacterial species and industries;
Visualisation of biofilms based on complex staining methods and/or microscopy;
Libraries of >20 000 compounds available & screened against a subset of model systems.
Chemical synthesis and structure-activity-relationship of antimicrobial agents:
In house design of novel synthesis pathways towards desired compounds;
Synthesis of up to 500 analogues of identified anti-biofilm agents for activity optimization and toxicity minimization (toxicity testing available);
Upscaling of anti-biofilm agents and design of coating strategies;
Special expertise in heterocyclic organic compounds, i.a. halogenated furanones, 2- aminoimidazoles, …
Molecular mode of action determination, including target identification, via complementary approaches:
In house developed gene reporter fusion libraries (promoters of important biofilm genes coupled to gfp, encoding a green fluorescent protein) for rapid identification of molecular pathways targeted by anti-biofilm agents;
Evolution experiments for studying resistance development;
Several phenotypic assays and biochemical assays for studying direct interaction with targets.
Development of delivery strategies for antimicrobial compounds:
Covalent coatings of anti-biofilm agents, e.g. on medical implant material;
Innovative types of 'Smart' slow release coating, only releasing anti-biofilm agents upon biofilm formation;
An innovative strategy to direct anti-biofilm agents towards the spot of contamination and to isolate the anti-biofilm agents from the system.
Synergy tests of anti-biofilm agents with disinfectants and antibiotics;
Assays for testing combinations of anti-biofilm agents with Open Plant Cleaning (OPC) and Cleaning In Place (CIP) protocols (time-lapse);
Testing of anti-biofilm agents on several types of surfaces;
Pilot scale installations for food industrial installations and water systems for in situ validation of anti-biofilm agents;
Animal models (mice, rats,rabbits) for in vivo efficacy testing of anti-biofilm agents (mainly medical applications).