The problem

Skin infections are bacterial infections that lead to morbidity and even mortality due to sepsis, superinfection, and dehydration or electrolyte imbalance in denuded skin. 

Current treatments

  • Antibiotics that eliminate beneficial microbes and select for resistance emergence.
  • Unresolved challenges of nanodelivery systems concerning targeted efficacy, toxicity and risk for resistance selection.

AMR is responsible for 33 000 deaths per year in the European Union (EU), with associated economic burden of EUR 1.5 billion and a projected death toll of 10 million in 2050.

Our Solution

TARDIS - Nano-enabled stimuli-responsive scaffolds for targeted antimicrobials delivery to treat Staphylococcus aureus infections and restore skin homeostasis.

Innovative antimicrobial hydrogel scaffolds of targeted bio-based nanoactives with:

  • high bactericidal efficacy towards Staphylococcus aureus, the most common skin pathogen, and
  • ability to maintain the beneficial microbial balance and physiological functions of the skin


TARDIS will engineer targeted bio-based nano-systems for S. aureus-mediated skin infections treatment and skin microbiome restoration taking synergistic advantage of:

  • Novel marine-derived antimicrobial actives
  • Nano-formulation of antimicrobials
  • QSI targeting the pro-pathological cell-to-cell communication of S. aureus
  • QS signals-driven delivery of antibacterial actives as a new “Trojan horse” strategy
  • Stimuli-responsive polymers to form hydrogel scaffolds that will release on-demand, the antimicrobial actives
  • Metabarcoding, metagenomic and metatranscriptomic libraries to monitor the skin microbiome status and host cells homeostasis in response to the novel scaffolds




  • Understanding skin microbiome-immune system interaction
  • Knowledge on microbiome resiliance
  • Ameliorate the outcome of other advanced medical treatments
  • Technologies and products towards other fields


  • Transfer of knowledge (patents, technical services, technology licenses)
  • Appealing to the healthcare providers in the growing global market of AMR products
  • Interest in the global market of other medical sectors (e.g. tissue engineering) and beyond (construction and buildings, transportation and automotive, exobiology)


  • Research will consider gender and race/ethnicity differences.
  • Social science research on nanomedicine and AMR
  • Citizen science platform to engage citizens in the research processes and activities


  • Eco design approach
  • Easy scalable, cost-effective and lower energy consumption technologies
  • Limited exposure of antimicrobials to the environment
  • Absence of hazards to aquatic and soil
  • Attenuation of AMR appearance