Nanodiagnostics to monitor biofilm oxygen metabolism for antibiotic susceptibility testing†
In clinical environments, many serious antibiotic-resistant infections are caused by biofilm-forming species. This presents issues when attempting to determine antimicrobial dosing as traditional antibiotic susceptibility tests (ASTs) are typically designed around planktonic bacteria and thus offer information that is not relevant to the biofilm phenotype present in the patient. Even the popular Calgary biofilm device may provide inaccurate minimum biofilm inhibitory concentrations (MBICs) and can be time- and material-intensive. In this work, we present a method utilizing oxygen-sensitive nanosensor technology to monitor the oxygen consumption dynamics of living biofilms as they are exposed to antibiotics. We incorporated our nanosensors into biofilms grown from P. aeruginosa strains of varying sensitivity to traditional classes of antibiotics. Through measuring nanosensor response under antibiotic administration we determined the concentrations able to cease biofilm metabolism. This method provides information on the MBIC as well as kinetic response information in a manner that requires fewer materials and is more reflective of biofilm behavior than a traditional AST.