Young Investigator Award

Every year, the “APGI Young Investigator Award” recognizes the most outstanding doctoral thesis in the field of Pharmaceutics, Biopharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology. It is kindly sponsored by Sanofi.

APGI Thesis Award 2020

Eline Teirlinck

University of Ghent, Belgium
“Laser-induced vapor nanobubbles: the golden ticket to the biofilm center”
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Kevin Braeckmans and Prof. Dr. Tom Coenye

Abstract PhD thesis

Being listed as one of the top priorities of the World Health Organization for 2019, antimicrobial resistance has become beyond any doubt an important threat to healthcare. An important reason for the decreased sensitivity of bacteria towards antibiotics is their capability to form so-called biofilms. The increased tolerance of biofilms is multifactorial and includes the reduced penetration rate of antibiotics through dense biofilms.

In this thesis, we explored the potential of laser-induced vapour nanobubbles (VNB) formed around plasmonic nanoparticles to locally disturb biofilm integrity and improve antibiotics’ diffusion and efficiency. First, we systematically investigated the potential of VNB as an anti-biofilm approach on both Gram-negative as Gram-positive biofilms. Spurred by the promising results of this proof-of-concept study, we aimed to take the first steps towards an actual application, more specifically for the treatment of biofilm related wound infections. In the last part of this thesis, antibiotics were encapsulated inside nanocarriers that were able to generate VNB in order to achieve light-triggered release of antibiotics, thereby providing a complete solution to the biofilm diffusion barrier.

APGI thesis award 2019

Dr Karen Peynshaert

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University

Promotors: Prof. Katrien Remaut and Prof. Stefaan De Smedt

Title: What you seen is what you get: The physicochemistry of nanoparticles dictates how they cross ocular delivery barriers and alter autophagy

Download the thesis abstract