Polyethylenimine-grafted mesoporous silica nanocarriers markedly enhance the bactericidal effect of curcumin against Staphylococcus aureus biofilm

Ayşenur Pamukçu, Nursu Erdoğan, Didem Şen Karaman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


The recalcitrant nature of biofilms makes biofilm-associated infections difficult to treat in modern medicine. Biofilms have a high vulnerability to antibiotics and a limited repertoire of antibiotics could act on matured biofilms. This issue has resulted in a gradual paradigm shift in drug discovery and therapy, with anti-biofilm compounds being sought alongside new drug carriers. A potential solution to biofilm-associated infections is to employ antibiofilm treatments, which can attack biofilms from many fronts. Nanocarriers are promising in this regard because they can be entrapped within biofilm matrix, target biofilm matrix, and provide local drug delivery to inhibit biofilm formation. In this study, curcumin as an herbal extract was loaded onto hyperbranched polyethylenimine-grafted mesoporous silica nanoparticles (F-MSN-PEI/Cur) and antibiofilm investigations were performed. The F-MSN-PEI/Cur design has the potential to repurpose curcumin as an antibiofilm agent by increasing its solubility and lowering the required doses for the destruction of matured biofilms as well as suppressing biofilm development. Using imaging and spectroscopic techniques, we assessed the interaction of F-MSN-PEI/Cur with Staphylococcus aureus bacterial cells and determined the impact of F-MSN-PEI/Cur on eradicating matured biofilms and suppressing biofilm development. The F-MSN-PEI/Cur design is highly cytocompatible, as observed by the cytotoxicity screening investigations on L929 mouse fibroblast cell line. Our findings show that F-MSN-PEI/Cur design reduces the bacterial cell viability, inhibits biofilm formation, and induces biofilm eradication, which is attributed to F-MSN-PEI/Cur design having the potential to repurpose the antibiofilm activity of curcumin-herbal extract.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2506-2520
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B: Applied Biomaterials
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • antibacterial
  • antibiofilm
  • curcumin
  • mesoporous silica
  • polyethyleneimine
  • Staphylococcus aureus


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