In-biofilm generation of nitric oxide using a magnetically-targetable cascade-reaction container for eradication of infectious biofilms

Guang Yang, Da-Yuan Wang, Yong Liu, Fan Huang, Shuang Tian, Yijin Ren, Jianfeng Liu, Yingli An, Henny C. van der Mei, Henk J. Busscher, Linqi Shi

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Cascade-reaction chemistry can generate reactive-oxygen-species that can be used for the eradication of infectious biofilms. However, suitable and sufficient oxygen sources are not always available near an infection site, while the reactive-oxygen-species generated are short-lived. Therefore, we developed a magnetic cascade-reaction container composed of mesoporous Fe3O4@SiO2 nanoparticles containing glucose-oxidase and t-arginine for generation of reactive-oxygen-species. Glucose-oxidase was conjugated with APTES facilitating coupling to Fe3O4@SiO2 nanoparticles and generation of H2O2 from glucose. L-arginine was loaded into the nanoparticles to generate NO from the H2O2 generated. Using an externally-applied magnetic field, cascade-reaction containers could be homogeneously distributed across the depth of an infectious biofilm. Cascade-reaction containers with coupled glucose-oxidase were effective in killing planktonic, Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Additional efficacy of the L-arginine based second cascade-reaction was only observed when H2O2 as well as NO were generated in-biofilm. In vivo accumulation of cascade-reaction containers inside abdominal Staphylococcus aureus biofilms upon magnetic targeting was observed real-time in living mice through an implanted, intra-vital window. Moreover, vancomycin-resistant, abdominal S. aureus biofilms could be eradicated consuming solely endogenous glucose, without any glucose addition. Herewith, a new, non-antibiotic-based infection-control strategy has been provided, constituting a welcome addendum to the shrinking clinical armamentarium to control antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-334
Number of pages14
JournalBioactive Materials
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2022


  • Magnetic nanoparticles
  • Bacterial infection
  • Glucose
  • Reactive-oxygen-species
  • Intra-vital window

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