Enzyme-Functionalized Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles to Target Staphylococcus aureus and Disperse Biofilms

Int J Nanomedicine. 2021 Mar 8;16:1929-1942. doi: 10.2147/IJN.S293190. eCollection 2021.


BACKGROUND: Staphylococcus aureus biofilms pose a unique challenge in healthcare due to their tolerance to a wide range of antimicrobial agents. The high cost and lengthy timeline to develop novel therapeutic agents have pushed researchers to investigate the use of nanomaterials to deliver antibiofilm agents and target biofilm infections more efficiently. Previous studies have concentrated on improving the efficacy of antibiotics by deploying nanoparticles as nanocarriers. However, the dispersal of the extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) matrix in biofilm-associated infections is also critical to the development of novel nanoparticle-based therapies.

METHODS: This study evaluated the efficacy of enzyme-functionalized mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) against methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) biofilms. MSNs were functionalized with the enzyme lysostaphin, which causes cell lysis of S. aureus bacteria. This was combined with two other enzyme functionalized MSNs, serrapeptase and DNase I which will degrade protein and eDNA in the EPS matrix, to enhance eradication of the biofilm. Cell viability after treatment with enzyme-functionalized MSNs was assessed using a MTT assay and CLSM, while crystal violet staining was used to assess EPS removal.

RESULTS: The efficacy of all three enzymes against S. aureus cells and biofilms was significantly improved when they were immobilized onto MSNs. Treatment efficacy was further enhanced when the three enzymes were used in combination against both MRSA and MSSA. Regardless of biofilm maturity (24 or 48 h), near-complete dispersal and killing of MRSA biofilms were observed after treatment with the enzyme-functionalized MSNs. Disruption of mature MSSA biofilms with a polysaccharide EPS was less efficient, but cell viability was significantly reduced.

CONCLUSION: The combination of these three enzymes and their functionalization onto nanoparticles might extend the therapeutic options for the treatment of S. aureus infections, particularly those with a biofilm component.

PMID:33727807 | PMC:PMC7954034 | DOI:10.2147/IJN.S293190