Sustained nitric oxide-releasing nanoparticles induce cell death in Candida albicans yeast and hyphal cells, preventing biofilm formation in vitro and in a rodent central venous catheter model

Mohammed S. Ahmadi, Hiu Ham Lee, David A. Sanchez, Adam J. Friedman, Moses T. Tar, Kelvin Davies, Joshua D. Nosanchuk, Luis R. Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Candida albicans is a leading nosocomial pathogen. Today, candidal biofilms are a significant cause of catheter infections, and such infections are becoming increasingly responsible for the failure of medical-implanted devices. C. albicans forms biofilms in which fungal cells are encased in an autoproduced extracellular polysaccharide matrix. Consequently, the enclosed fungi are protected from antimicrobial agents and host cells, providing a unique niche conducive to robust microbial growth and a harbor for recurring infections. Here we demonstrate that a recently developed platform comprised of nanoparticles that release therapeutic levels of nitric oxide (NO-np) inhibits candidal biofilm formation, destroys the extracellular polysaccharide matrices of mature fungal biofilms, and hinders biofilm development on surface biomaterials such as the lumen of catheters. We found NO-np to decrease both the metabolic activity of biofilms and the cell viability of C. albicans in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, flow cytometric analysis found NO-np to induce apoptosis in biofilm yeast cells in vitro. Moreover, NO-np behave synergistically when used in combination with established antifungal drug therapies. Here we propose NO-np as a novel treatment modality, especially in combination with standard antifungals, for the prevention and/or remediation of fungal biofilms on central venous catheters and other medical devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2185-2194
Number of pages10
JournalAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology
  • Infectious Diseases

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