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ACS Omega








Multidrug membrane transporters (efflux pumps) are responsible for multidrug resistance (MDR) and the low efficacy of therapeutic drugs. Noble metal nanoparticles (NPs) possess a high surface-area-to-volume ratio and size-dependent plasmonic optical properties, enabling them to serve both as imaging probes to study sized-dependent MDR and as potential drug carriers to circumvent MDR and enhance therapeutic efficacy. To this end, in this study, we synthesized three different sizes of silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs), 2.4 ± 0.7, 13.0 ± 3.1, and 92.6 ± 4.4 nm, functionalized their surface with a monolayer of 11-amino-1-undecanethiol (AUT), and covalently conjugated them with antibiotics (ofloxacin, Oflx) to prepare antibiotic drug nanocarriers with conjugation ratios of 8.6 × 102, 9.4 × 103, and 6.5 × 105 Oflx molecules per NP, respectively. We purified and characterized the nanocarriers and developed cell culture medium in which the cells grew normally and the nanocarriers were stable (non-aggregated), to quantitatively study the size, dose, and efflux pump (MexAB-OprM) dependent inhibitory effect of the nanocarriers against two strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, WT (normal expression of MexAB-OprM) and ΔABM (deletion of MexAB-OprM). We found that the inhibitory effect of these nanocarriers highly depended on the sizes of NPs, the doses of antibiotic, and the expression of MexAB-OprM. The same amount of Oflx on the largest nanocarriers (92.6 ± 4.4 nm) showed the highest inhibitory effect (the lowest minimal inhibitory concentration) against P. aeruginosa. Surprisingly, the smallest nanocarriers (2.4 ± 0.7 nm) exhibited a lower inhibitory effect than free Oflx. The results suggest that size-dependent multivalent effects, the distribution and localization of Oflx (pharmacodynamics), and the efflux of Oflx all play a role in the inhibitory effects. Control experiments using three sizes of AgMUNH2 NPs (absence of Oflx) showed that these NPs do not exhibit any significant inhibitory activity toward both strains. These new findings demonstrate the need for and possibility of designing optimal sized antibiotic nanocarriers to achieve the highest efficacy against P. aeruginosa.


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Original Publication Citation

Ding, F., Songkiatisak, P., Cherukuri, P. K., Huang, T., & Xu, X.-H. N. (2018). Size-dependent inhibitory effects of antibiotic drug nanocarriers against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. ACS Omega, 3(1), 1231-1243. doi:10.1021/acsomega.7b01956


0000-0002-7470-1948 (Xu)