In situ generating CO gas for destroying bacterial biofilms

Pengzhen Zhuang, Wu Yang, Yu Zhang, Yu Chen, Tao Ding, Yanyang Chen, Fei Wang, Jessica Rosenholm, Yingchuan Li, Hongbo Zhang, Wenguo Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The resistance and impermeability of bacterial biofilms lead to incurable infections. Interference with bacterial respiration is the key to the eradication of bacterial biofilm, but breaking the deep-tissue biofilm barrier to disrupt bacterial respiration still lacks effective means. Here, we report a hydrogel microsphere that disrupts bacterial respiration, supports in situ production of carbon monoxide gas (CO) to enhance the oxygen-depleted environment of biofilms and disrupts the bacterial respiratory chain, eliminating the bacterial biofilm ecotone (BRDMs). Under the specific interaction of α-helical structure and bacterial biofilm, BRDMs rapidly anchored and accumulated on the surface of bacterial biofilm within 8 h. Meanwhile, 8.64 μM CO gas was released in situ under an oxidative stress environment to deeply penetrate the biofilm and continuously destroy bacterial terminal oxidase, block bacterial respiration and finally disintegrate the biofilm. In a model of osteomyelitis, BRDMs disrupt the ecotopic colonization of MRSA biofilms in deep tissues, reduce inflammation, restore internal environmental homeostasis and accelerate tissue regeneration. BRDMs could be designed to remove drug-resistant biofilms from a wide range of deep tissues.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102296
Pages (from-to)102296
Number of pages13
JournalNano Today
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Hydrogel microsphere
  • Bacterial biofilm
  • Bacterial respiration
  • CO


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