We report the effectiveness of silver nanocluster (Ag-NC) against the biofilm of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA). Two DNA aptamers specific for PA and part of their sequences were chosen as templates for growing the Ag-NC. While circular dichroism (CD) studies determined the presence of secondary structures, UV/Vis absorption, and fluorescence spectroscopic studies confirmed the formation of the fluorescent Ag-NC on the DNA templates. Furthermore, mesoscopic physics-based partial wave spectroscopy (PWS) was used to analyze the backscattered light signal that can detect the degree of nanoscale mass density/refractive index fluctuations to identify the biofilm formation, comparatively among the different aptamers with respect to the control sample. The importance of the secondary structure of the aptamer DNA in targeting, successfully binding with the cells and delivering the Ag-NC, is evidenced by the decrease in disorder strength (Ld) of the Ag-NC treated samples compared to the untreated PA cells, which showed the abundance of higher Ld in the PWS studies. The higher Ld value attributed to the higher mass density fluctuations and the formation of biofilm. We envision this study to open a new avenue in using a powerful optical microscopic technique like PWS in detection, and DNA aptamer enclosed silver nanoclusters to prevent biofilms for opportunist pathogens like Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Keywords: circular dichroism; fluorescence; partial wave spectroscopy; scattering.