The rise in antibiotic resistance is fueled, in part, by unnecessary prescription of antibiotics. Clinicians have called for improved diagnostic tools that can disclose infection type at the point of care and this has been recognised as one of the great global challenges of our age to prevent an age of complete antibiotic resistance.
The Polymer Biomaterials group has been a key player in this field for several years, with Professor Rimmer first publishing research into bacteria-polymer interactions, and new antibiotic polymers, back in 2000. However our real breakthrough was the development of highly branched polymer materials through SCVP-RAFT synthesis. These particles, which have a large number of chain ends expressed into the solvent, are brilliant materials for biological binding. For the last ten years we have been investigating their use as a diagnostic tool to solve this global challenge.