Engineering confronts hospital superbugs
The growth of the antibiotic-resistant superbug, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is driving the development of new technologies to investigate antibiotics and their modes of action. We describe silicon cantilever based studies of self-assembled monolayers of mucopeptides which model drug-sensitive and resistant bacterial walls. The underlying concepts needed to understand the measurements will simplify the design of cantilevers and coatings for biosensing and could even impact our understanding of drug action on bacteria themselves. Finally we describe how cantilever-based biosensing could be transformed from a research technique to a tool for a pharmacology and clinical diagnostics.
Professor Gabriel Aeppli
Professor of Physics at the ETH Zurich and the EPF Lausanne (ETHZ & EPFL)
Gabriel Aeppli is professor of physics at ETH Zürich and EPF Lausanne, and head of the Photon Science Division of the Paul Scherrer Institute. He received his B.Sc., M.Sc. and PhD in Electrical Engineering from MIT, and then spent the majority of his career in industry (NEC, AT&T and IBM) where he worked on problems ranging from liquid crystals to magnetic data storage. He was subsequently co-founder and director of the London Centre for Nanotechnology, Quain Professor at University College London, and cofounder of the Bio-Nano Consulting Company. Aeppli has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the US National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society (London), and was a recipient of the Mott Prize of the Institute of Physics (London), the Oliver Buckley prize of the American Physical Society and the Neel Medal/International Magnetism Prize. His current technical focus is on the implications of photon science and nanotechnology for information processing and health care.