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Antimicrobial, Stimuli-responsive Polysaccharide


Project TitleAntimicrobial, Stimuli-responsive Polysaccharide
Track Code28937
Short Description

State of the art antimicrobials have up to 14 years of efficacy before resistance develops in microbes, after which a new antimicrobial compound must be researched and developed. The process can take years and millions of dollars, which has led many pharmaceutical companies to reduce investment in new antibiotics. Nanoantibiotics have recently gained attention as a therapeutic strategy. They are nanomaterials that have inherent antimicrobial activity or improve efficacy and safety of antibiotics administration. Nanoantibiotics have different attack mechanisms that result in advantages over conventional antibiotics.

Chitosan is a natural material derived from the shells of shrimp and other crustaceans which have shown promise as a nanoantibiotic. However, native chitosan has low solubility at biological pH and therefore low therapeutic potential against the microbes. UCI researchers have developed a way to make acid-transforming chitosan (ATC) to enhance solubility and lower toxicity, while sustaining the bioactivity. The researchers believe that the method can create a chitosan that targets various locations in the body.


State of the art antimicrobial therapeutics, while effective and promising, remain only short-term solutions to the overall challenge of drug-resistant microbes. UCI researchers have developed a chitosan-based nanoantibiotic that is non-toxic and carries potential for broad spectrum use.

TagsDelivery Systems, New Chemical Entities, drug leads, other, Therapeutics
Posted DateOct 12, 2017 11:50 AM


  • Reduced toxicity and similar efficacy in reducing bacterial growth compared to native chitosan
  • Can be selectively returned to native chitosan at low pH to target specific areas

Potential Applications

· Broad spectrum nanoantibiotics

Additional Information

State Of Development

Various formulations have been made and in vitro and in vivo studies have been performed to understand the appropriate pharmacological doses.

Tech ID/UC Case


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Contact Information

Name : Richard Tun

Title :

Department :

Email :

Phone : 951-827-2212

Address :

Principal Investigator

Name : Julius Edson

Department :

Name : Young Jik Kwon

Department :

Intellectual Property