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Lab collaboration initiated to promote research

Research Achievements

Lab collaboration initiated to promote research

Guanidine-rich antimicrobial polymers have been shown to have strong and selective antimicrobial properties. These polymers are known to nonspecifically attack the membranes of bacteria, but the precise mechanism of action is still not well understood. To understand how these polymers are able to induce pore formation in membranes, Michael Lis (IGERT trainee, polymer science and engineering) and members of the Tew lab initiated a collaboration with the Wong Group (UCLA Bioengineering) to examine the phase structure of polymer-phospholipid interactions and how they correlate with antimicrobial activity. Work in the past year has focused extensively on X-ray scattering and microbial inhibition, demonstrating the relationship between phase curvature and antimicrobial activity, along with structure-activity relationships between various molecules. Further work will involve fluorescence studies of lipid vesicle systems.