There is an urgent need to develop new antibiotics to address the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance, due to conventional antibiotics no longer being able to treat a large number of infections. With natural and de-novo antimicrobial peptides developed by Max Ryadnov at National Physical Laboratory, we explore the mechanism via which such peptides can perforate membrane and degrade bacterial envelopes, to ultimately kill the bugs.
Using atomic force microscopy, we visualise the effects of antimicrobial peptides on model membranes and on live bacteria in real time. Such experiments reveal membrane perforation at the nanometre scale, with a temporal resolution of the order of seconds per frame.
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