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Enhanced Antibacterial Activity Of Se Nanoparticles Upon Coating With Recombinant Spider Silk Protein EADF4(κ16)

Tao Huang, Sushma Kumari, Heike M Herold, Hendrik Bargel, T. Aigner, D. E. Heath, N. O'Brien-Simpson, A. O’Connor, T. Scheibel
Published 2020 · Chemistry, Medicine

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Purpose Selenium nanoparticles (Se NPs) are promising antibacterial agents to tackle the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance. The aim of this study was to fabricate Se NPs with a net positive charge to enhance their antibacterial efficacy. Methods Se NPs were coated with a positively charged protein – recombinant spider silk protein eADF4(κ16) – to give them a net positive surface charge. Their cytotoxicity and antibacterial activity were investigated, with negatively charged polyvinyl alcohol coated Se NPs as a control. Besides, these eADF4(κ16)-coated Se NPs were immobilized on the spider silk films, and the antibacterial activity of these films was investigated. Results Compared to the negatively charged polyvinyl alcohol coated Se NPs, the positively charged eADF4(κ16)-coated Se NPs demonstrated a much higher bactericidal efficacy against the Gram-negative bacteria E. coli, with a minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) approximately 50 times lower than that of negatively charged Se NPs. Cytotoxicity testing showed that the eADF4(κ16)-coated Se NPs are safe to both Balb/3T3 mouse embryo fibroblasts and HaCaT human skin keratinocytes up to 31 µg/mL, which is much higher than the MBC of these particles against E. coli (8 ± 1 µg/mL). In addition, antibacterial coatings were created by immobilising the eADF4(κ16)-coated Se NPs on positively charged spider silk films and these were shown to retain good bactericidal efficacy and overcome the issue of low particle stability in culture broth. It was found that these Se NPs needed to be released from the film surface in order to exert their antibacterial effects and this release can be regulated by the surface charge of the film, such as the change of the spider silk protein used. Conclusion Overall, eADF4(κ16)-coated Se NPs are promising new antibacterial agents against life-threatening bacteria.
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