BIOACTIVE POLYMERS AND MATERIALS RESEARCH
Dr. Kuroda's primary interest is to design and synthesize antimicrobial polymers effective to drug-resistant bacteria.
Dr. Kuroda's laboratory studies membrane-active antimicrobial polymers as synthetic mimics of host-defense peptides and antimicrobial coatings to prevent biofilm formation on biomedical materials.
Antimicrobial peptide-mimetic polymers. To create new antimicrobial materials effective to drug resistant bacteria, our laboratory has developed the molecular mimicry of naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides using synthetic methacrylate polymers. These polymers are designed to mimic the cationic functionality and amphiphilic nature of antimicrobial peptides to act as membrane-active antimicrobial agents. These antimicrobial polymers represent the hallmarks of antimicrobial peptide such as antimicrobial activity against a broad spectrum of bacteria including antibiotic-resistant strains, low propensity for resistance development in bacteria, and no adverse toxicity against host cells.
Anti-biofilm Coatings. Bacteria proficiently adhere to synthetic surfaces of medical devices or implants, and establish matrix-encased bacterial communities, known as biofilms. This biofilm formation is a concern because the biofilm matrix protects resident bacteria from host-defense mechanisms and antibiotic challenges, resulting in chronic and recurrent bacterial infections. To prevent the biofilm formation, our laboratory has developed versatile polymeric materials for bactericidal or anti-fouling coatings by utilizing a mussel protein mimetic adhesive group or a star-shaped polymer nano-architecture.