Diana Vilela García

Dr. Diana Vilela studied Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Alcala, Alcala de Henares (Spain), being graduated with honors. During her degree, she has also worked at the Molecular biology and biochemistry and Analytical chemistry departments. Afterwards, she has carried out her PhD at the Analytical Micro and Nanotechnology group at the University of Alcala. During her PhD, she has worked on the use and synthesis of nanomaterials for developing novel (bio-) detection methods, new electrodes based on carbon nanotubes coupled to microfluidic systems and and micromotors as novel tools for (bio)-detection and environmental applications. Her thesis has been awarded by the co-owner of Alcala University Society as the best doctoral thesis in chemistry and medical chemistry and by the University of Alcala as the best doctoral thesis in science presented between 2014-2015. Dr. Diana Vilela joined to Lab-in-a-tube and Nanorobotic Biosensors as postdoc at Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems where she has won a prestigious 2-years postdoctoral fellowship by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Currently, she has just joined to Smart nano-bio-devices group at IBEC being her research focus on the development of novel and more efficient nanostructures to fight against antibiotic resistant infections.

Group: Smart Nano-Bio-Devices
Supervisor: Samuel Sánchez
Project: Smart core-double-shell nanoparticles for specific and effective action against bacterial infection at different environments

Bacteria produce infectious diseases being one of the most common causes of morbidity and mortality in the world. In the past decades, due to the rising of antibiotic-resistant infections, conventional antibiotics show less efficient and increase the clinical cases of getting serious infections. Up to now, the development of ‘smart’ nanocarriers has been mostly focused on the therapeutic treatment of cancer and a few on the treatment of bacterial infections. Since the increase of drug-resistant bacterial infections, the study of the effects of drug delivery systems in bacteria biofilms which plays a critical role in infections is necessary.

This proposal integrates the design of new drug delivery system against bacteria biofilms to combat drug-resistant infections. Multifunctional biocompatible magnetic double core-shell nanosystems consisted of two metal layers (Fe3O4@Ag) coated with mesoporous silica (MS) and then functionalized with gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) for the site-specific, time-releasing controlled and efficient delivery of antibiotics are proposed as ‘smart’ nanocarriers. Core-shell systems offer intrinsically high surface area and porosity capable of loading several cargo possibilities such as chemotherapeutic agents and antibiotics by adsorption from solution. The AuNPs attached to the outer surface of the double core-shell MSNs provide of higher surface for linking targeting elements and can be used as thermotherapeutic elements synergistically with antibiotics and silver ions for killing bacteria. Furthermore, the use of antibodies as targeting elements for bacteria detection attached to AuNPs on the outer surface of core-double-shell MSNs makes them selective to the target bacteria. The wide-ranging of possibilities that the use of MSNs offers as nanocarriers and their integration in mimicked infections using bacteria biofilms allow to understand their behavior and as consequence to develop new concept of therapeutics.