Name: Manjulatha Sara
Research Title: Development of Biologically active Biomaterials against Bacterial colonisation
Supervisor: Prof Mark Willcox
Co-supervisors: Dr. Alex Hui and Dr. Edgar Wong
Email Address: email@example.com
Medical device and implant infections associated with multidrug resistant & biofilm forming microbes are a threat to global health. Antimicrobial peptides have good activity against these pathogens, and microbes find it hard to develop resistance to them. Peptoids are oligomers based on a polyglycine backbone with an amide side chian. These are low cost to design and have good activity seen free in solution. What is not known is whether the peptidomimetic peptoids retain their antimicrobial function once covalently bound to surfaces. My research will investigate several peptoids to determine which ones can retain antimicrobial activity after binding to surfaces, and their mechanism of action. I will use contact lenses as the substrata for attachment and various attachment techniques. This will include using dopamine, plasma-coating or other attachment strategies. The mechanism of antimicrobial peptides once bound to a surface has been shown to be like their mechanism of action when free in solution. This is predominantly to disrupt the membranes of microbes, although other mechanisms such as releasing autolysins have also been demonstrated. I will investigate whether the bound peptoids have similar mechanisms of action. I will also test the coated contact lenses for safety by measuring their effect on mammalian cells in tissue culture.
Manjulatha Sara is an international postgraduate research student who will focus on the mechanism of action of peptoids against bacteria for her doctoral degree. She gained a postgraduate in science from Annamalai University, India. After graduating she joined the prestigious L V Prasad Eye Institute and became an expert in diagnostic and clinical microbiology. Her research ambition is to develop antimicrobial contact lenses that can be safely worn to provide protection against microbial-driven adverse events during contact lens wear.
Ph.D student at School of optometry and Vision Sciences, 2020 -Current
M.Sc Annamalai University, India 2000
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Scientia Scholarship from University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia 2020-2024
BUG BUSTER – Ocular Clinical & Microbiology Workshop 2019
Good clinical laboratory Practices (GCLP) 2011
ICMR – Medical Mycology PGIMR – Chandigarh, India 2008
Continuing Medical education Ocular Microbiology and Pathology – 1995