Antimicrobial activity of topically-applied soyaethyl morpholinium ethosulfate micelles against Staphylococcus species

Nanomedicine (Lond). 2016 Mar;11(6):657-71. doi: 10.2217/nnm.15.217. Epub 2016 Feb 25.


Aim: Here we evaluated the antibacterial efficacy of soyaethyl morpholinium ethosulfate (SME) micelles as an inherent bactericide against Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA).

Methodology: The antimicrobial activity was examined by in vitro culture model and murine model of skin infection. Cationic micelles formed by benzalkonium chloride or cetylpyridinium chloride were used for comparison.

Results: The minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration against S. aureus and MRSA were 1.71-3.42 and 1.71-6.84 μg/ml, respectively. Topical administration of SME micelles significantly decreased the cutaneous infection and MRSA load in mice. The killing of bacteria was caused by direct cell wall/membrane rupture. SME micelles also penetrated into the bacteria to elicit a Fenton reaction and oxidative stress.

Conclusion: SME micelles have potential as antimicrobial agents due to their lethal effect against S. aureus and MRSA with a low toxicity to mammalian cells.

Keywords: antimicrobial; methicillin-resistant S. aureus; micelle; skin; soyaethyl morpholinium ethosulfate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Line
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Micelles
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Morpholines / administration & dosage
  • Morpholines / pharmacology
  • Morpholines / therapeutic use*
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Staphylococcal Skin Infections / drug therapy*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Micelles
  • Morpholines
  • soyaethyl morpholinium