Department of Bioengineering
313 Snell Engineering Center
Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115
geilich.b [at] husky.neu.edu
Degree Objective: Ph.D. Bioengineering
Hometown: Hanover, NH
Prior Degrees: B.Sc. Neuroscience
Undergraduate Institution: Brown University
Benjamin Geilich, PhD Candidate and NSF IGERT Nanomedicine Fellow, earned his BS in Neuroscience from Brown University. During his time at Brown, Ben served as the captain of the Stanford-Brown iGEM (international genetically engineered machines competition) team, and conducted research at NASA Ames towards designing genetically engineered microorganisms to aid in space exploration and colonization. After graduation, Ben was awarded a graduate assistantship to pursue his doctorate in Bioengineering at Northeastern University. Ben’s research with Dr. Webster focuses on various applications of nanotechnology and biomimetic systems to prevent and treat bacterial adherence and proliferation on indwelling medical devices. Currently, Ben is working on synthesizing and commercializing polymersome nanocarriers with embedded metallic nanoparticles for use in treating antibiotic-resistant infections. Ben has recently received awards for outstanding research from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the US Society for Biomaterials.
The rapidly diminishing number of effective antibiotics that can be used to treat infectious diseases and associated complications in a physician’s arsenal is having a drastic impact on human health today. This study explored the development and optimization of a polymersome nanocarrier formed from a biodegradable diblock copolymer to overcome bacterial antibiotic resistance. Here, polymersomes were synthesized containing silver nanoparticles embedded in the hydrophobic compartment, and ampicillin in the hydrophilic compartment. Results showed for the first time that these silver nanoparticle-embedded polymersomes (AgPs) inhibited the growth of Escherichia coli transformed with a gene for ampicillin resistance (bla) in a dose-dependent fashion. Free ampicillin, AgPs without ampicillin, and ampicillin polymersomes without silver nanoparticles had no effect on bacterial growth. The relationship between the silver nanoparticles and ampicillin was determined to be synergistic and produced complete growth inhibition at a silver-to-ampicillin ratio of 1 : 0.64. In this manner, this study introduces a novel nanomaterial that can effectively treat problematic, antibiotic-resistant infections in an improved capacity which should be further examined for a wide range of medical applications.
- B. M. Geilich, I. Gelfat, S. Sridhar, A. L. van de Ven, T. J. Webster, “Superparamagnetic iron oxide-encapsulating polymersome nanocarriers for biofilm eradication,” (2016). [submitted manuscript]
- B. M. Geilich, A. L. van de Ven, G. L. Singleton, L. J. Sepúlveda, S. Sridhar, T. J. Webster, “Silver nanoparticle-embedded polymersome nanocarriers for the treatment of antibiotic resistant infections” Nanoscale 7: 3511-19 (2015).
- B. M. Geilich, T.J. Webster, “Reduced adhesion of Staphylococcus aureus to ZnO/PVC nanocomposites,” International Journal of Nanomedicine 8: 1177-84 (2013).
- B. M. Geilich, T. J. Webster, “Scientists discuss the future of nanomedicine,” Nanomedicine 8: 1747-9 (2013).
- N. C. Verissimo, B. M. Geilich, H. G. Oliveira, R. Caram, T. J. Webster, “Reducing Staphylococcus aureus growth on Ti alloy nanostructured surfaces through the addition of Sn,” Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A 103: 3757-3763 (2015).
- P. M. Maschhoff, B. M. Geilich, T.J. Webster, “Greater fibroblast proliferation on and ultrasonicated ZnO/PVC nanocomposite material,” International Journal of Nanomedicine 9: 257-63 (2014).
- B. Saifullah, M. E. El Zowalaty, P. Arulselvan, S. Fakurazi, T. J. Webster, B. M. Geilich, M. Z. Hussein, “Synthesis, characterization, and efficacy of antituberculosis isoniazid zinc aluminum-layered double hydroxide based nanocomposites,” International Journal of Nanomedicine 11: 3225-3237 (2016).
- M. E. El Zowalaty, S. H. Hussein-Al-Ali, M. I. Husseiny, B. M. Geilich, T. J. Webster, M. Z. Hussein, “The ability of streptomycin-loaded chitosan-coated magnetic nanocomposites to possess antimicrobial and antituberculosis activities,” International Journal of Nanomedicine 10: 3269-3274 (2015).
- A. K. MacMillan, F. V. Lamberti, J. N. Moulton, B. M. Geilich, T. J. Webster “Similar healthy osteoclast and osteoblast activity on nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite and nanoparticles of tri-calcium phosphate compared to natural bone,” International Journal of Nanomedicine 9: 5627-37 (2014).
- S. H. Hussein-Al-Ali, M. E. El Zowalaty, A. U. Kura, B. M. Geilich, S. Fakurazi, T. J. Webster, M. Z. Hussein “Antimicrobial and controlled release studies of a novel nystatin conjugated iron oxide nanocomposite,” BioMed Research International 651831 (2014).
- S. H. Hussein-Al-Ali, M. E. El Zowalaty, M. Z. Hussein, B. M. Geilich, T. J. Webster, “Synthesis, characterization, and antimicrobial activity of an ampicillin-conjugated magnetic nanoantibiotic for medical applications,” International Journal of Nanomedicine 9:3801-14 (2014).
- B. Saifullah, M. E. El Zowalaty, P. Arulselvan, S. Fakurazi, T. J. Webster, B. M. Geilich, M. Z. Hussein, “Antimycobacterial, antimicrobial, and biocompatibility properties of para-aminosalicylic acid with zinc layered hydroxide and Zn/Al layered double hydroxide nanocomposites, ” Drug Design Development and Therapy 8: 1029-36. (2014).
- B. Saifullah, P. Arulselvan, M. E. El Zowalaty, S. Fakurazi, T. J. Webster, B. M. Geilich, M. Z. Hussein “Development of a highly biocompatible antituberculosis nanodelivery formulation based on para-aminosalicylic acid-zinc layered hydroxide nanocomposites,” Scientific World Journal 401460 (2014).
- B. Saifullah, P. Arulselvan, M. E. El Zowalaty, S. Fakurazi, T.J. Webster, B. M. Geilich, M. Z. Hussein, “Development of a biocompatible nanodelivery system for tuberculosis drugs based on isoniazid-Mg/Al layered double hydroxide,” International Journal of Nanomedicine 9: 4749-62 (2014).