Vancomycin-Eluting Niosomes: A New Approach to the Inhibition of Staphylococcal Biofilm on Abiotic Surfaces


A new vancomycin (VCM)-eluting mixed bilayer niosome formulation was evaluated for the control of staphylococcal colonization and biofilm formation on abiotic surfaces, a niosome application not explored to date. Cosurfactant niosomes were prepared using a Span 60/Tween 40/cholesterol blend (1: 1: 2). Tween 40, a polyethoxylated amphiphile, was included to enhance VCM entrapment and confer niosomal surface properties precluding bacterial adhesion. VCM-eluting niosomes showed good quality attributes including relatively high entrapment efficiency (∼50%), association of Tween 40 with vesicles in a constant proportion (∼87%), biphasic release profile suitable for inhibiting early bacterial colonization, and long-term stability at 4°C for a 12-month study period. Niosomes significantly enhanced VCM activity against planktonic bacteria of nine staphylococcal strains. Using microtiter plates as abiotic surface, VCM-eluting niosomes proved superior to VCM in inhibiting biofilm formation, eradicating surface-borne biofilms, inhibiting biofilm growth, and interfering with biofilm induction by VCM subminimal inhibitory concentrations. Data suggest dual functionality of cosurfactant VCM-eluting niosomes as passive colonization inhibiting barrier and active antimicrobial-controlled delivery system, two functions recognized in infection control of abiotic surfaces and medical devices.


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