Dr. J.B. Epakanda

Dr. J.B. Epakanda |Clyto Access

University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka


Expertise: Nanoparticles


Dr. J.B. Epakanda holds an MBBS Degree from University of Peradeniya and an M.Sc. in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology from the same University. His research interests are in tackling antimicrobial resistance by substituting antibiotics with zinc oxide nanoparticles. He has published his work in standard journals and delivered lectures at several International Conferences. Currently, he works as a Divisional Medical Officer at the Katapoolawa Base Hospital, Sri Lanka.



Title: Tackling antimicrobial resistance through zinc oxide nanoparticles in place of standard antibiotics


World Health Organization defines Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) as the ability of a microorganism (like bacteria, viruses, and some parasites) to stop an antimicrobial (such as antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials) from working against it. As such, antibiotic treatments become ineffective and as a result infections persist and may spread to others. Overuse of antibiotics and adaptation of microbes to antibiotics cause the antimicrobial resistance. Therefore, finding ways to treat microbial infections in a different way is desirable. Our research is based on substituting antibiotics by zinc oxide nanoparticles for wound treatment. The mechanisms of actions of antibiotics and zinc oxide nanoparticles are completely different. Antibiotics work in chemical manner usually by destroying cell walls of bacteria by chemical interactions. However, zinc oxide nanoparticles work differently where the sharp edges of nanoparticles physically damage cell walls. As such, microbes become incapable of developing resistance to physical damages such as cutting by a sharp knife. Therefore, a way forward to tackle antimicrobial resistance is to use zinc oxide nanoparticles with sharp edges on their surfaces to physically damage cell walls of bacteria. Zinc oxide is a wonderful material where various nanotechnological structures can be readily and easily synthesized by simple chemical routes based on bottom up approach of nanomaterial synthesis. In particular, structures with sharp edges such as tri-pods, tetra-pods and even multi-pods can be easily synthesized by controlling synthesis conditions and templates. We have prepared various structures of zinc oxide nanoparticles and embedded them in sterilized cotton gauzes. Their antimicrobial efficacy on both Gram negative and Gram positive bacteria was investigated. Inhibition zones comparable to those obtained for standard antibiotic embedded cotton gauzes were obtained showing that zinc oxide nanoparticle encapsulated cotton gauzes to be as effective as standard antibiotics in destroying bacteria. This an attractive way of treating wounds particularly those of diabetic patients.


Related Conferences :

2nd world summit on Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine Research