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Interaction of gelatin with polyenes modulates antifungal activity and biocompatibility of electrospun fiber mats

Authors Lakshminarayanan R, Sridhar R, Loh XJ, Nandhakumar M, Barathi VA, Kalaipriya M, Kwan JL, Liu SP, Beuerman RW, Ramakrishna S

Received 29 November 2013

Accepted for publication 7 February 2014

Published 23 May 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 2439—2458


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Rajamani Lakshminarayanan,1,2 Radhakrishnan Sridhar,3,4 Xian Jun Loh,5 Muruganantham Nandhakumar,1 Veluchamy Amutha Barathi,1,6 Madhaiyan Kalaipriya,3,4 Jia Lin Kwan,1 Shou Ping Liu,1,2 Roger Wilmer Beuerman,1,2 Seeram Ramakrishna3,4,7

1Singapore Eye Research Institute, 2Signature Research Program in Neuroscience and Behavioral Disorders, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, 3Department of Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore, 4Center for Nanofibers and Nanotechnology, National University of Singapore, 5Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), 3 Research Link, Singapore, 6Department of Ophthalmology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, 7NUS Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Initiative, Singapore

Abstract: Topical application of antifungals does not have predictable or well-controlled release characteristics and requires reapplication to achieve therapeutic local concentration in a reasonable time period. In this article, the efficacy of five different US Food and Drug Administration-approved antifungal-loaded (amphotericin B, natamycin, terbinafine, fluconazole, and itraconazole) electrospun gelatin fiber mats were compared. Morphological studies show that incorporation of polyenes resulted in a two-fold increase in fiber diameter and the mats inhibit the growth of yeasts and filamentous fungal pathogens. Terbinafine-loaded mats were effective against three filamentous fungal species. Among the two azole antifungals compared, the itraconazole-loaded mat was potent against Aspergillus strains. However, activity loss was observed for fluconazole-loaded mats against all of the test organisms. The polyene-loaded mats displayed rapid candidacidal activities as well. Biophysical and rheological measurements indicate strong interactions between polyene antifungals and gelatin matrix. As a result, the polyenes stabilized the triple helical conformation of gelatin and the presence of gelatin decreased the hemolytic activity of polyenes. The polyene-loaded fiber mats were noncytotoxic to primary human corneal and sclera fibroblasts. The reduction of toxicity with complete retention of activity of the polyene antifungal-loaded gelatin fiber mats can provide new opportunities in the management of superficial skin infections.

Keywords: fungal infections, electrospinning, antifungals, controlled release, drug–matrix interactions

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