Antifungal drug delivery in a 3D infection microenvironment

Improving treatment for fungal infections

Clinical mycology


Candidiasis is a common type of fungal infection caused by fungus called Candida albicans. While yeast infections like thrush can usually be treated by a doctor, sometimes they spread to other parts of the body becoming more serious and even fatal.

With antifungal treatments often failing to resolve severe infections, effective treatment is crucial, especially for people with weaker immune systems including babies and the elderly. Our research aims to improve the success rate of treatments for severe fungal infections.

What are we doing?

We hope to improve recovery rates from Candida infections. Through laboratory experiments, we will identify which concentrations and combinations of antifungal medicine are better for specific organs.

How are we doing it?

By using a fluorescent microscope and cell cultures (group of cells able to mimic human tissue), we can see how yeast interacts with different cells from our bodies like our kidneys, liver, and stomach. We will create a 3D model of infection site, allowing researchers to observe how Candida interacts with the human-like cells in different areas of the body. The team will then test different concentrations and combinations of antifungal medicines, identifying the most effective treatments for Candida infection.

What happens next?

The results from this research will be published in scientific journals and shared with public health professionals to inform the use of more targeted antifungal treatments. We will be applying for further funding to expand on this research to improve the outcomes for people impacted by Candida yeast infections.

“The findings will help to develop targeted treatments specific to different areas of the body, including our vital organs. As fungal infections become increasingly resistant to antifungal treatment, we need to work quickly to address the critical gap in our knowledge about fungal infection microenvironment and current antifungal treatments to save lives.”

Iana Kalinina

Iana works on developing biofilm imaging methods with refractive index adjustment. Her recent image of Goliath biofilm was included in an art exhibition at the University of Exeter.

Candida albicans biofilm

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