First step towards potential alternative for antibiotics

News - 17 December 2018

Under the direction of dr. Stan Brouns, affiliated with the faculty of Applied Sciences, research is done on a potential alternative for antibiotics: bacteriophages, the natural enemies of bacteria. Bacteriophages are tiny viruses that infect bacteria and then use the bacterial cell to multiply. Thanks to alumni of the faculty of Applied Sciences and donors of Delft University Fund, Brouns and his team received €144.248 for the benefit of the bacteriophage research. 


Getting started with the first phage bank in the Netherlands
Much is still unknown about the effect therapeutic phages in the human body, but Brouns first sees a great potential for the treatment of chronic, easily accessible infections. With support of the UMCU, he has decided to set up a phage bank with phages against the most common bacterial infections. With the promise of the donation, Stan started immediately by welcoming technician Boris Estrada Bonilla to help realize the phage bank. In the spring of 2019, the phage bank opens with the first major series of phages for infectious diseases in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, the first phages have been isolated and stored to kick-off a phage bank in the Netherlands.

Expanding the phage bank
During the next six months Stan and his team will work hard to expand the phage bank. But with isolation and storage we are not quite there yet. Stan is building the bank to eventually be able to treat patients cost effectively with bacteriophages. This will be exclusively done together with doctors and pharmacists. In the spring of 2019, Stan hopes to officially open the phage bank and reach out to doctors to use the bank. For the first possible treatments, Stan is already talking with hospitals to target various skin infections.

Brouns: ‘We can get started! We are at the beginning of a phage bank in the Netherlands. The phage bank must become a reality. It is a matter of doing!’.

Delft University Fund supports pioneering research with great social impact, such as Brouns' bacteriophage research. Want to know more? Visit