Indexed on: 29 May '15Published on: 29 May '15Published in: AMB Express
Protected by extracellular polymers, microbes within biofilms are significantly more resistant to disinfectants. Current research has been instrumental in identifying nitric oxide donors and hydrogels as potential disinfectant additives. Nitric oxide (NO) donors are considered a very promising molecule as biofilm dispersal agents and hydrogels have recently attracted a lot of interest due to their biocompatible properties and ability to form stable thin films. When the NO donor MAHMA NONOate was dissolved in phosphate saline buffer, it was able to reduce the biomass of well-established biofilms up to 15% for at least 24 h of contact time. Encapsulation of MAHMA NONOate and molsidomine within a hydrogel composed of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) has shown a synergistic effect in dispersing well-established biofilms: after 2 h of exposure, moderate but significant dispersion was measured. After 6 h of exposure, the number of cells transitioning from the biofilm to the planktonic state was up to 0.6 log higher when compared with non-treated biofilms. To further explore the transport processes of NO donors within hydrogels, we measured the nitric oxide flux from gels, at 25°C for a composite of 0.1 µM MAHMA NONOate-CNC. Nitric oxide diffuses up to 500 µm from the hydrogel surface, with flux decreasing according to Fick's law. 60% of NO was released from the hydrogel composite during the first 23 min. These data suggest that the combined treatments with nitric oxide donor and hydrogels may allow for new sustainable cleaning strategies.