Encapsulation of an Antimicrobial Drug in Biodegradable Nanoparticles

Faculty Mentor(s)

Drs. Olivia Merkel and Steven Firestine

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Bacterial infections are a cause of numerous illnesses and deaths in the world. Although numerous antimicrobial drugs have been developed, many lack effectiveness in animal systems. There are numerous reasons for this, including poor water solubility which can limit their bioavailability and thus their efficiency. One such drug, SV7, has been shown to kill numerous Gram positive bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus; however, the drug has only modest activity in animal models and no activity when given orally. Polymer based nanoparticles represent one mechanism to improve the bioavailability and effectiveness of a drug like SV7. We sought to investigate whether encapsulation of SV7 within the biodegradable polymer poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) could increase the effectiveness of this agent. Spherical nanoparticle/SV7 formulations were created by solvent evaporation resulting in SV7 encapsulated within PLGA. The encapsulation efficiency was determined with UV spectrometrically and found to be approximately 60%. Hydrodynamic diameters were determined by Dynamic Light Scattering and the particles varied in size from approximately 2 mm to 100 nm in diameter. The particles were also analyzed for their Zeta Potential and the particles were determined to be quite negative. Fortunately, these nanoparticles were still effective against the bacteria cells when studied using the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration Assay.


This research was supported by a Wayne State Start-up Funding Grant, and the National Institute of Health.

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