Enhancing antibiofilm activity with functional chitosan nanoparticles targeting biofilm cells and biofilm matrix

Carbohydr Polym. 2018 Nov 15;200:35-42. doi: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2018.07.072. Epub 2018 Jul 25.


Bacterial biofilms play a key role during infections, which are associated with an increased morbidity and mortality. The classical antibiotic therapy cannot eradicate biofilm-related infections because biofilm bacteria display high drug resistance due to biofilm matrix. Thus, novel drug delivery to overcome biofilm resistance and eliminate biofilm-protected bacteria is needed to be developed. In this study, positively charged chitosan nanoparticles (CSNP) loaded with oxacillin (Oxa) and Deoxyribonuclease I (CSNP-DNase-Oxa) were fabricated. The antibiofilm activity was evaluated against Staphylococcus aureus biofilms. Biofilm architecture on silicone surfaces was investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) was used to examine live/dead organisms within biofilm. CSNP-DNase-Oxa exhibited higher antibiofilm activity than Oxa-loaded nanoparticles without DNase (CSNP-Oxa) and free Oxa (Oxa and Oxa + DNase) at each concentration in all in-vitro tests. CSNP-DNase-Oxa inhibited biofilm formation in-vitro and eradicated mature biofilm effectively. CSNP-DNase-Oxa could disrupt the biofilm formation through degradation of eDNA, reduced biofilm thickness and the amount of viable cells on silicone. Repeated treatment with CSNP-DNase-Oxa for two days resulted in 98.4% biofilm reduction. Moreover, CSNP-DNase-Oxa was not only able to affect the biofilm of a standard S. aureus strain, but also showed the highest eradication of biofilms of clinical isolates compared with control groups. These results suggest the potential applicability of NPs for the treatment of biofilm-related infections and provide a platform for designing novel drug delivery with more functions.

Keywords: Antibiofilm; Nanoparticle; Oxacillin; Staphylococcus aureus.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Biofilms / drug effects*
  • Biofilms / growth & development
  • Chitosan / chemistry*
  • Chitosan / pharmacology*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Silicones / chemistry
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / physiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Silicones
  • Chitosan