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Nanomedicine. 2012 Apr;8(3):261-70. doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2011.11.014. Epub 2011 Dec 23.

Nanoscale surface modification favors benign biofilm formation and impedes adherence by pathogens.

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  • 1Houston VA Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Houston, Texas, USA.


We have found in vitro that a biofilm of benign Escherichia coli 83972 interferes with urinary catheter colonization by pathogens, and in human studies E. coli 83972-coated urinary catheters are associated with lower rates of catheter-associated urinary tract infections. We hypothesized that modifying surfaces to present mannose ligands for the type 1 fimbriae of E. coli would promote formation of dense E. coli 83972 biofilms, thereby interfering with surface colonization by Enterococcus faecalis, a common uropathogen. We covalently immobilized mannose on silicon substrates by attaching amino-terminated mannose derivative to carboxylic acid-terminated monolayers via amidation. Fluorescence microscopy showed that E. coli 83972 adherence to mannose-modified surfaces increased 4.4-fold compared to unmodified silicon surfaces. Pre-exposing mannose-modified surfaces to E. coli 83972 established a protective biofilm that reduced E. faecalis adherence by 83-fold. Mannose-fimbrial interactions were essential for the improved E. coli 83927 adherence and interference effects. From the Clinical Editor: Recurrent urinary tract infections remain major adverse events associated with catheter use. The authors report that modifying catheter surface to present mannose ligands for the type 1 fimbriae of benign Escherichia coli 83972 promotes formation of dense E. coli biofilms, which 100-fold reduces urinary catheter colonization of uropathogens. Future application of this technology is expected to result in substantial UTI risk reduction in catheter users.

Published by Elsevier Inc.

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