Lay summary
Conditional triggered drug release from nanocontainers

Nanocontainers loaded with antibacterial compounds are to be coupled on implant surfaces with biosensors in such a way that the nanocontainers can release antibiotics only in the presence of bacteria.

Today’s medicinal technology offers a wide and still increasing variety of implants that are required by a growing number of patients. As more and more implants are
used in various branches of medicine, also the number of postoperative infections increases with corresponding financial consequences. In addition, there exists a growing resistance of bacteria towards antibiotics.

The main target is the development of novel implant coatings with antibacterial function. One part of the research consists of the synthesis of suitable nanocontainers loaded with antibiotics. A second part is devoted to the development of bacteria sensors. As a straightforward approach the drug containing nanocapsules are coupled with biosensors. The novel coatings will release the antibacterial drug only upon bacterial presence.

The novel coatings of implants to be developed will not only significantly reduce the risk of postoperative infections but will also prevent bacterial resistance toward antibiotics. Both aspects are relevant with regard to health costs.

A first direct application of the drug loaded nanocontainers coupled with bacteria sensors is the coating of medical implants for various surgical techniques. Apart from surgical implants, the novel materials could be used in other sectors such as food technology, hygiene or human care.