Programmed Immune Response and Avoidance with Virus-Like Nanoparticles, and Click Chemistry Solutions to Line Infections

PI’s: M.G. Finn & Keiko Tarquinio

This is half of an effort originally funded under the title "Programmed Immune Response and Avoidance with Virus-Like Nanoparticles." We pivoted to the line infection problem because of the great importance of this issue to Children's, and compelling preliminary results in our laboratory.  Abstract for this part of the work:  

We have partnered with Dr. Keiko Tarquinio of CHOA to begin to tackle the problem of hospital acquired infections derived from long-term line implants in pediatric patients.  The sicker the patient, the more invasive devices are placed, making this a particularly pernicious problem in neonatal and pediatric intensive care units. In most pediatric long-intubated cases, tracheostomy is not done (especially in neonates), and endotracheal tubes are kept in for weeks to months. In these cases, very thin lines are used as breathing tubes (2-2.5 mm); full-term infants are given 3.0 mm tubes. We propose a different type of approach to this problem than has been taken in the past.


We will chemically modify commercial tubing used in pediatric patients in a manner that does not perturb the overall mechanical properties of the material. That modification will allow us to employ the powerful chemical bond-forming techniques of click chemistry, with which we will derivatize tubing surfaces with a wide variety of polymeric and other materials designed to inhibit bacterial surface colonization. Our initial experiments will be done on E. coli, S. aureus, and P. aeurginosa, moving later to fungal species. 


Kalelkar, P., Geng, Z., Finn, M.G., Collard, D., “Azide-Substitute Polylactide: A Biodegradable Substrate for Antimicrobial Materials via Click Chemistry Attachment of Quaternary Ammonium Groups”, Biomacromolecules 2019 20 (9), 3366-3374. DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.9b00504.