Enhanced Adjunctive Therapies for Microbial Infections and Imaging

Web Published:

Princeton Docket # 16-3183-1


Researchers in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Princeton University have developed a nanocarrier based approach to enable and enhance adjunctive therapies for microbial infections by simultaneous encapsulation and delivery of all components.


Microbial infections have become increasingly difficult to treat due to the emergence of drug resistant microbes. It has been previously demonstrated that adjunctive therapies, which are therapies that use antimicrobial (AM) drugs along with antimicrobial adjuvants (AMA), can be used to better treat resistant microbes, overcome resistant mechanisms, and synergistically treat infections. It has also been demonstrated that the efficacy of AM drugs, or AMA drugs, can be enhanced when delivered in a nanocarrier form. However, the practice of adjunctive therapies is limited by the ability to precisely control the durations of delivery, stabilities, and the pharmacokinetic profiles of the multiple active agents.


This invention uses a nanocarrier based approach to control and deliver adjunctive therapies by simultaneous encapsulation and delivery of all components, including AM and AMA, and contrast imaging agents. The nanocarriers can also be simultaneous decorated with targeting moieties on the surface. Most importantly, these nanocarriers allow for localized co-delivery at precisely controlled levels at the site of infection, which may address many problems in adjunctive therapies. These nanocarriers can be made with either Flash NanoPrecipitation (FNP) or another embodiment of FNP. FNP is currently a Princeton patented technology to prepare nanoparticle composites with amphiphilic copolymers. Both techniques are effective in encapsulating active ingredients at high particle loadings which has not been achieved by other processes.




•       Treatment of bacterial, fungal, viral and parasitic infections

•       Applicable to a wide variety of antimicrobial agents




•       Precisely  controlled delivery  of active agents at site of infection

•       High particle loading and simultaneous encapsulation of AM and AMA drugs

•       Precise control of pharmacokinetics of active agents

•       Improved therapy outcome




Robert K Prud’homme is Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Director, Program in Engineering Biology, at Princeton University. His research focuses on how weak forces at the molecular level determine macroscopic properties at larger length scales. Equal time is spent on understanding the details of molecular-level interactions using NMR, neutron scattering, x-ray scattering, or electron microscopy and making measurements of bulk properties such as rheology, diffusion of proteins in gels, drop sizes of sprays, or pressure drop measurements in porous media. A major focus of his lab’s research is on using self-assembly to construct nanoparticles for drug delivery and imaging. The work is highly interdisciplinary; many of the projects involve joint advisors and collaborations with researchers at NIH, Argonne National Labs, CNRS in France, or major corporate research.


Hoang Lu is a PhD student in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Princeton University. He received a BS in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University and a MSE in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and a Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. His research focuses on developing new methods of diagnosing and treating infectious diseases. 



1.  D'Addio, S. M.; Reddy, V. M.; Liu, Y.; Sinko, P. J.; Einck, L.; Prud'homme, R. K. Antitubercular Nanocarrier Combination Therapy: Formulation Strategies and In Vitro Efficacy for Rifampicin and SQ641. Molecular pharmaceutics 2015.

2.   Lu, H. D.; Spiegel, A. C.; Hurley, A.; Perez, L. J.; Maisel, K.; Ensign, L. M.; Hanes, J.; Bassler, B. L.; Semmelhack, M. F.; Prud’homme, R. K. Modulating Vibrio cholerae Quorum-Sensing-Controlled Communication Using Autoinducer-Loaded Nanoparticles. Nano letters 2015.

3.  Akbulut, M.; Ginart, P.; Gindy, M. E.; Theriault, C.; Chin, K. H.; Soboyejo, W.; Prud'homme, R. K. . Generic Method of Preparing Multifunctional Fluorescent Nanoparticles Using Flash NanoPrecipitation. Advanced Functional Materials 2009. 


Status of Technology

Proof of concept studies have been completed and are available under confidentiality


Intellectual Property Status

Patent protection is pending. The synthesis of nanocarriers uses Flash NanoPrecipitation (FNP), which has been successfully patented (US 8137699) and continuation applications are pending.

Princeton is seeking to identify appropriate partners for the further development and commercialization of this technology.



Laurie Tzodikov

Princeton University Office of Technology Licensing

• (609) 258-7256• tzodikov@princeton.edu

Xin (Shane) Peng

Princeton University Office of Technology Licensing

•(609) 258-5579• xinp@princeton.edu


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Laurie Tzodikov
Licensing Associates
Princeton University
Robert Prud'homme
Hoang Lu
drug delivery