Ester J. Kwon, Matt Skalak, Sangeeta Bhatia
Koch Institute at MIT, Institute of Medical Engineering and Science
Bacterial infections are an important public health concern. We are designing new antibiotics, and testing whether we can deliver them into the lung to fight pneumonia caused by bacteria. We stuffed anti-bacterial peptides into tiny packages called nanoparticles and looked to see if they can spread throughout the lung in an animal model. This image shows a slice through a mouse lung that was infected with bacteria and treated with our therapeutic peptide-nanoparticles. The red color marks the bacteria and the green color marks our therapeutic nanoparticles. We also marked the cells of the lung in blue and cells that form part of the body’s own immune response to the bacteria in magenta. When we take a view of the whole lung, we can see our particles escape the large airway “highways” (large holes) and spread through the lung where they can fight the infection.