Send to

Choose Destination
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2019 Sep 25;11(38):34676-34687. doi: 10.1021/acsami.9b10853. Epub 2019 Sep 13.

Characterization of Key Bio-Nano Interactions between Organosilica Nanoparticles and Candida albicans.

Author information

Department of Chemical Engineering and ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology , Monash University , Clayton , Victoria 3800 , Australia.
Infection and Immunity Program and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biomedicine Discovery Institute , Monash University , Clayton , Victoria 3800 , Australia.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, and ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent BioNano Science and Technology , The University of Melbourne , Melbourne , Victoria 3010 , Australia.


Nanoparticle-cell interactions between silica nanomaterials and mammalian cells have been investigated extensively in the context of drug delivery, diagnostics, and imaging. While there are also opportunities for applications in infectious disease, the interactions of silica nanoparticles with pathogenic microbes are relatively underexplored. To bridge this knowledge gap, here, we investigate the effects of organosilica nanoparticles of different sizes, concentrations, and surface coatings on surface association and viability of the major human fungal pathogen Candida albicans. We show that uncoated and PEGylated organosilica nanoparticles associate with C. albicans in a size and concentration-dependent manner, but on their own, do not elicit antifungal activity. The particles are also shown to associate with human white blood cells, in a similar trend as observed with C. albicans, and remain noncytotoxic toward neutrophils. Smaller particles are shown to have low association with C. albicans in comparison to other sized particles and their association with blood cells was also observed to be minimal. We further demonstrate that by chemically immobilizing the clinically important echinocandin class antifungal drug, caspofungin, to PEGylated nanoparticles, the cell-material interaction changes from benign to antifungal, inhibiting C. albicans growth when provided in high local concentration on a surface. Our study provides the foundation for defining how organosilica particles could be tailored for clinical applications against C. albicans. Possible future developments include designing biomaterials that could detect, prevent, or treat bloodstream C. albicans infections, which at present have very high patient mortality.


Candida albicans; blood cells; caspofungin; cell association; cytotoxicity; organosilica


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society
Loading ...
Support Center