Novel Ultrashort Peptide Nanogels Generate Silver Nanoparticles to Combat Emerging Antimicrobial Resistance Strains


Project Description

Ultrashort linear peptides consisting of 3–7 natural amino acids self-assemble to helical fibers within supramolecular structures. The amphiphilic peptide motif, – a hydrophobic tail and a hydrophilic head group-, facilitates self-assembly via parallel-antiparallel α-helical pairs and subsequent stacking into β-turn fibrils. Aggregation of fibrils into fibers results in the formation of nanogels scaffolds capable of entrapping up to 99.9% water. During self-assembly, these ultrashort peptides form meshed 3D nanofibrous networks that extend into the micro-scale length.Nanogels made from self-assembling ultrashort peptides (4-6 amino acids in size) are promising biomaterials for various biomedical applications such as tissue engineering, drug delivery, regenerative medicine, microbiology and biosensing. We have developed silver-releasing peptide nanogels with promising wound care applications. The peptide nanogels allowed a precise control of in situ synthesized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), using solely a short exposure to UV radiation and no other chemical reducing agent. We propose these silver-releasing nanogels as excellent biomaterial to combat emerging antimicrobial resistant strains.​​​​
Program - Computer Science
Division - Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering
Center Affiliation - Visual Computing Center
Field of Study - ​Self- assembly, tissue engineering, nanogels, silver nanoparticles, antimicrobial agents

About the

Dominik L. Michels

Associate Professor, Computer Science

Dominik L. Michels
The overarching goal of Professor Michels' research is enabling accurate and efficient simulations for scientific and visual computing. Towards this goal, he develops new principled computational methods based on solid theoretical foundations and contributes to a broad range of topics covering algorithmics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, computer graphics and physics-based modeling, differential equations, mathematical modeling, and numerical analysis.

Desired Project Deliverables

​Generation of silver nanoparticles in situ (Hauser), computational studies on kinetics and size of nanoparticle formation under restricted conditions (Michels), study of nanofiber networks by computational dynamics (Michels) and by bioimaging techniques ( electron microscopy (SEM, TEM)) (Hauser), CD and FT-IR spectroscopy to follow up on nanofiber formation (Hauser)​