At CU Boulder, I am researching how to make new types of antibiotics that can kill drug resistant bacteria.

Unlike typical antibiotics, our approach involves using nanoparticles to kill the superbugs.

Quantum dots, the special type of nanoparticles we use, have some amazing properties due to their small size. If you shine a light on them, they get really excited. They can even glow in specific colors. But more importantly, they are small enough to sneak into bacteria. And once they’re in there, we can use light to trigger a chemical reaction at their surface that kills bacteria.

We’ve shown that these quantum dots work well, even in bacteria that is resistant to every antibiotic.

Publications

Near‐Infrared Light Triggered Antimicrobial Indium Phosphide Quantum Dots (Angewandte Chemie)

Ternary ZnCdTe Quantum Dots as a Therapeutic for Drug Resistant Bacteria (ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering)

Quantum dot therapeutics: A new class of radical therapies (Journal of Biological Engineering)

Assessing Different Reactive Oxygen Species as Potential Antibiotics (ACS Applied Biomaterials)

Designing Superoxide-Generating Quantum Dots for Selective Light-Activated Nanotherapy (Frontiers in Chemistry)

Potentiating antibiotics in drug-resistant clinical isolates via stimuli-activated superoxide generation (Science Advances)