Using electrospun poly(ethylene-oxide) nanofibers for improved retention and efficacy of bacteriolytic antibiotics

Biomed Microdevices. 2013 Oct;15(5):887-93. doi: 10.1007/s10544-013-9777-5.


The aim of this study was to demonstrate targeted delivery of protein-based bactericidal antibiotics using electrospun polymer nanofibers. Previous studies have utilized electrospinning to create nanofibers for the localized delivery of therapeutic agents, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and low molecular weight heparin. By employing established electrospinning techniques, nanofibers of varying diameters (100-500 nm) were generated from a 0.05 % solution of poly(ethylene-oxide) (PEO) and the antimicrobial peptide, LL-37 was incorporated into the nanofiber meshwork. Initial experiments determined that the strong electric fields caused by electrospinning do not disrupt the antimicrobial properties of LL-37, thus justifying the application of LL-37 as an electrospun component. Disk diffusion assays and especially bacterial filtration studies with E. coli were conducted to quantify the drug delivery potential of the nanofibers. Disk diffusion revealed a small zone of inhibition of about 1 mm around the LL-37-incorporated nanofiber disk. Filtration tests demonstrated that electrospun PEO fibers were capable of delivering LL-37 consistently while still maintaining their antimicrobial abilities.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry*
  • Bacteriolysis / drug effects*
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Disk Diffusion Antimicrobial Tests
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Nanofibers / chemistry*
  • Polyethylene Glycols / chemistry*
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Salmonella typhimurium / drug effects


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Polymers
  • Polyethylene Glycols