Management of oral biofilms by nisin delivery in adhesive microdevices

Stine Egebro Birk*, Mette Dalskov Mosgaard, Rolf Bech Kjeldsen, Anja Boisen, Rikke Louise Meyer, Line Hagner Nielsen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    Numerous beneficial microbes thrive in the oral cavity where they form biofilms on dental and mucosal surfaces to get access to nutrients, and to avoid being carried away with the saliva. However, biofilm formation is also a virulence factor as it also protects pathogenic bacteria, providing them with an environment for proliferation causing oral infections. Oral hygiene relies on mechanical removal of biofilms. Some oral care products also contain antimicrobials, but effective eradication of biofilms with antimicrobials requires both a high concentration and long exposure time. In the present communication, we investigate the potential of using miniaturized drug delivery devices, known as microcontainers (MCs), to deliver the antimicrobial peptide, nisin to an oral multi-species biofilm. MCs are loaded with nisin and X-ray micro-computed tomography reveals a full release of nisin through a chitosan lid within 15 min. Chitosan-coated MCs display substantial bioadhesion to the buccal mucosa compared to non-coated MCs (68.6 ± 14.3% vs 33.8 ± 5.2%). Confocal monitoring of multi-species biofilms reveals antibacterial effects of nisin-loaded chitosan-coated MCs with a faster onset (after 3 h) compared to solution-based delivery (after 9 h). Our study shows the potential of using MCs for treatment of multi-species oral biofilms and is encouraging for further design of drug delivery devices to treat oral diseases.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics
    Pages (from-to)83-88
    Number of pages6
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


    • Antimicrobial peptides
    • Bioadhesion
    • Chitosan
    • Microcontainers
    • Multi-species biofilm
    • Oromucosal drug delivery
    • µCT


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