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PhD project: Surface/cell interactions via surface functionalization; applications: bactericidal protection and realization of biocomponents

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Français - Anglais

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General information

Reference : UMR5819-YOAROU-003
Workplace : GRENOBLE
Date of publication : Monday, May 04, 2020
Scientific Responsible name : Yoann ROUPIOZ
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2020
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

The fight, based on sustainable strategies, against the proliferation of bacteria in our environment as well as the management of their growing resistance to drugs, have long been important issues for our society. Now, early detection of bacterial proliferation seems also, if not more, crucial to ensure that treatments, materials or coatings protect users effectively, well before their proliferation becomes impossible to control. These different objectives are particularly important in the hospital environment in the fight against nosocomial diseases due to the contamination of instruments/surfaces, as well as in the prevention of the development of bacteria in ventilation ducts in all types of dwelings, both individual and collective, personal and professional.
The exploitation of the mechanisms of absorption, growth and development of bacteria on functionalized and non-functionalized micro/nano-structured surfaces has made it possible to develop sustainable solutions to the proliferation of bacteria by, for example, making surfaces safe and free from any contamination. This knowledge has thus fueled intervention strategies targeting three distinct points of bacterial development: by minimizing their adhesion via polymer/nanostructuring protection [1][2], by inhibiting or limiting their proliferation/development [3][4] and finally by treating the surface with antimicrobial agents [4][5]. In this context, different strategies have recently been developed in parallel to yield surface antibacterial surfaces: either passively and permanently through the presence of nanostructures, or by functionalization/protection of the surface through polymers or local delivery of bactericidal agents (encapsulation/nanoparticles). These strategies can be sustainable and ecological, since they are directly inspired by Nature, especially insects and some fishes that have naturally antibacterial surfaces thanks to their micro/nano-structuring [1][4] and/or surface chemical coverage [5]. Work on early detection, however, as well as the understanding of the Physics behind this concept, is still in its infancy [6].
The BIOSURF project is primarily based on the combination of these two approaches dealing with surface modification: functionalization and nanostructuring. The first step will be based on the hypothesis that these two methods are complementary and can jointly reinforce the antibacterial power of functionalized nanostructured surfaces. The aim will be to create particularly effective antibacterial surfaces, which will also be the ideal testing substrate for early detection methods. To these ends, the L2N will use its expertise in surface micro/nanostructuring and surface metrology. For its part, the SyMMES laboratory will benefit from its expertise in pathogenic bacteria detection [6], surface chemistry and biosensor instrumentation to carry out the project. Recent results on the efficiency of biomolecules interacting with bacterial membranes [7] will also be used.

[1]. Coad, B. R., et al. “Biomaterials surfaces capable of resisting fungal attachment and biofilm formation”. Biotechnology Advances, 32(2), 296–307, (2014).
[2]. Garrett, T. R., et al. “Bacterial adhesion and biofilms on surfaces”. Progress in Natural Science, 18(9), 1049–1056, (2008).
[3]. Ivanova, E. P., et al. “Natural Bactericidal Surfaces: Mechanical Rupture of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Cells by Cicada Wings”. Small, 8(16), 2489–2494, (2012).
[4]. Rigo, S., et al. “Nanoscience-Based Strategies to Engineer Antimicrobial Surfaces”. Advanced Science, 5(5), 1700892, (2018).
[5]. Hancock, R. E. W., et al. “Antimicrobial and host-defense peptides as new anti-infective therapeutic strategies”. Nature Biotechnology, 24(12), 1551–1557, (2006).
[6]. Bouguelia, S., et al. “On-chip microbial culture for the specific detection of very low levels of bacteria ”. Lab On A Chip, (13), 4024, (2013).
[7]. Pardoux, E., et al. “Antimicrobial peptide arrays for wide spectrum sensing of pathogenic bacteria”. Talanta, (203), 322-327, (2019).

Work Context

International thesis funding (co-supervision between Sherbrooke, CANADA and Grenoble, FRANCE) has been allocated to the BIOSURF project through the CNRS 80PRIME 2020 program. This funding will allow the realization of a thesis, through long stays in Quebec and France. At the end of the project, the student will hold a French and Canadian PhD.

Canada: UMI 3462, Nanotechnology and Nanosystems Laboratory, Sherbrooke, Quebec, CANDA.

France: UMR 5819, Molecular Systems and Nano-Materials for Energy and Health Laboratory, Grenoble, FRANCE.

Additional Information

The candidate will have to show a real interest in working on a largely multidisciplinary subject, and this in an international context (straddling several laboratories, with the realization of a doctoral thesis under international co-supervision). A solid knowledge of organic chemistry and micro-technology is mandatory. Experience (academic and/or practical) in microbiology is a major asset for this project. The successful candidate will have a real ability to report on his/her work, both in writing and oral presentations.

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