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Stimulated phase-shift acoustic nanodroplets enhance vancomycin efficacy against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus biofilms

Authors Guo H, Wang Z, Du Q, Li P, Wang Z, Wang A

Received 12 February 2017

Accepted for publication 23 May 2017

Published 30 June 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 4679—4690


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Linlin Sun

Hao Guo,1 Ziming Wang,1 Quanyin Du,1 Pan Li,2 Zhigang Wang,2 Aimin Wang1

1Department of Orthopedics, Institute of Surgery Research, Daping Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China; 2Chongqing Key Laboratory of Ultrasound Molecular Imaging, Institute of Ultrasound Imaging, Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China

Purpose: Bacterial biofilms on the surface of prostheses are becoming a rising concern in managing prosthetic joint infections. The inherent resistant features of biofilms render traditional antimicrobial therapy unproductive and revision surgery outcomes uncertain. This situation has prompted the exploration of novel antimicrobial strategies. The synergy of ultrasound microbubbles and vancomycin has been proposed as an efficient alternative for biofilm eradication. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the anti-biofilm effect of stimulated phase-shift acoustic nanodroplets (NDs) combined with vancomycin.
Materials and methods: We fabricated lipid phase-shift NDs with a core of liquid perfluoropentane. A new phase change mode for NDs incorporating an initial unfocused low-intensity pulsed ultrasound for 5 minutes and a subsequent incubation at 37°C into a 24-hour duration was developed. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) biofilms were incubated with vancomycin and NDs under the hybrid stimulation. Biofilm morphology following treatment was determined using confocal laser scanning microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Resazurin assay was used to quantify bactericidal efficacy against MRSA biofilm bacteria.
Results: NDs treated sequentially with ultrasound and heating at 37°C achieved gradual and substantial ND vaporization and cavitation in a successive process. NDs after stimulation were capable of generating stronger destruction on biofilm structure which was best characterized by residual circular arc margins and more dead bacteria. Furthermore, NDs combined with vancomycin contributed to significantly decreasing the metabolic activity of bacteria in MRSA biofilms (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Phase-shift acoustic NDs could exert a significant bactericidal effect against MRSA biofilms through a new stimulation mode. Acoustic NDs present advantages over microbubbles for biofilm damage. This anti-biofilm strategy could be used either alone or as an enhancer of traditional antibiotics in the control of prosthetic joint infections.

Keywords: nanodroplets, MRSA, biofilm matrix, ultrasound, phase change, cavitation

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