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Zein nanocapsules as a tool for surface passivation, drug delivery and biofilm prevention

1 Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Albany, New York, USA
2 Department of Chemistry, University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, New York, USA

Topical Section: Microbial biofilms

Current oral hygiene treatments focus on managing oral biofilms (i.e. dental plaque) by broad antimicrobial strategies, indiscriminately killing both pathogenic and commensal microorganisms present in the oral cavity. In an effort to identify alternative approaches to antimicrobials, several research groups, including our own, have identified small molecule inhibitors that interrupt cell-cell signaling and biofilm formation, with potential to be selective against pathogens while leaving commensal flora unperturbed. A drawback to such inhibitors is their limited efficacy when used in acute exposures (e.g. mouthwash or brushing). In order to enhance bioavailability and maximize efficacy of these agents in a complex and dynamic environment such as the oral cavity, it is necessary to maintain a constant reservoir of the agents in situ. Therefore, we formulated a biofilm inhibitor delivery system by encapsulating an inhibitor of Streptococcus mutans biofilm formation, S-phenyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide, into zein nanocapsules. Nanocapsules formed 110–235 nm particles in a liquid-liquid dispersion synthesis procedure with S-phenyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide, as determined by dynamic light scattering. The inhibitor-loaded nanocapsules were then used to cast a film and subsequent S. mutans biofilm formation at this surface was studied. Nanocapsule films loaded with biofilm inhibitors were shown to deter early S. mutans biofilm development at 24 h, as well as reduce total viable biofilm-recovered cells at 48 h. This demonstrates proof-of-concept that biofilm inhibitor-loaded zein nanocapsules can reduce S. mutans biofilm growth, and demonstrates a new approach to extend the time that dental plaque inhibitors are present at the tooth surface. This approach has the potential to delay recolonization of the tooth and reduce oral infection/disease.
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Copyright Info: © 2016, Nathaniel C. Cady, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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