In vivo photothermal inhibition of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection by in situ templated formulation of pathogen-targeting phototheranostics†
Bacterial infection has caused a serious threat to human public health. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a representative drug-resistant bacterium, which is difficult to eradicate completely, resulting in high infection probability with severe mortality. Herein, pathogen-targeting phototheranostic nanoparticles, Van-OA@PPy, are developed for efficient elimination of MRSA infection. Van-OA@PPy nanoparticles are fabricated from the in situ templated formation of polypyrrole (PPy) in the presence of ferric ions (Fe3+) and a polymer template, hydrophilic poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate-co-N,N-dimethyl acrylamide), P(HEMA-co-DMA). PPy nanoparticles are further coated with vancomycin conjugated oleic acid (Van-OA) to afford the resultant pathogen-targeting Van-OA@PPy. A high photothermal conversion efficiency of ∼49.4% is achieved. MRSA can be efficiently killed due to sufficient nanoparticle adhesion and fusion with MRSA, followed by photothermal therapy upon irradiation with an 808 nm laser. Remarkable membrane damage of MRSA is observed, which contributes greatly to the inhibition of MRSA infection. Furthermore, the nanoparticles have high stability and good biocompatibility without causing any detectable side effects. On the other hand, residual Fe3+ and PPy moieties in Van-OA@PPy endow the nanoparticles with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and photoacoustic (PA) imaging potency, respectively. The current strategy has the potential to inspire further advances in precise diagnosis and efficient elimination of MRSA infection in biomedicine.