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Nanoparticles of lipids -Cubosomes
Photo: Lukas Boge

Can nanoparticles kill bacteria?

Many infection-causing bacteria have developed a strong resistance against commercial available antibiotics and there is a great need for novel innovative treatments. In a sub-project of FORMAMP, antimicrobial peptides were loaded into lipid nanoparticles for protection and delivery of these sensitive bio-molecules.


In this project the use of lipid nanoparticles were investigated for delivery and protection of antimicrobial peptides.


Due to decades of exposing pathogenic bacteria to non-lethal doses of antibiotics, they have developed a strong resistance against these drug molecules. There is a great need for new and efficient antibacterial drugs and the need will most likely increase in the future.


The bacterial killing efficiency of the peptide loaded nanoparticles were investigated using in vitro and ex vivo models, as well as the bacterial killing mechanism. Results showed that the nanostructure of the particles strongly affected their bacterial killing efficiency. Particles with a cubic nanostructure (“cubosomes”) were found to be most effective. They protected a protease sensitive antimicrobial peptide (LL-37) from enzymatic degradation, resulting in a significant improved bacterial killing after enzyme exposure, compared to pure peptide.


A new drug delivery system were designed for antimicrobial peptides, made of lipid nanoparticles, which protected them from enzymatic degradation, resulting in more efficient killing of pathogenic bacteria.


Project name




RISE role in project

Project participant and project coordination

Project start


5 yrs


RISE, Lunds University, Uppsala University, ProMore Pharma, Adenium Biotech, University of Angers, Polypeptide Laboratories, Chalmers University of Technology


European Commission, RISE

Project website


Project members

Supports the UN sustainability goals

3. Good health and well-being
Ulla Elofsson

Contact person

Ulla Elofsson

Assoc. Professor

+46 10 516 60 40

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