Polymeric micelles with anti-virulence activity against Candida albicans in a single- and dual-species biofilm

Yassamin N. Albayaty, Nicky Thomas, Paulina D. Ramírez-García, Thomas P. Davis, John F. Quinn, Michael R. Whittaker, Clive A. Prestidge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Infections caused by fungal biofilms with rapidly evolving resistance against the available antifungal agents are difficult to manage. These difficulties demand new strategies for effective eradication of biofilms from both biological and inert surfaces. In this study, polymeric micelles comprised of di-block polymer, poly-(ethylene glycol) methyl ether methacrylate and poly 2-(N,N-diethylamino) ethyl methacrylate polymer, P(PEGMA-b-DEAEMA), were observed to exhibit remarkable inhibitory effects on hyphal growth of Candida albicans (C. albicans) and C. tropicalis, thus preventing biofilm formation and removing existing biofilms. P(PEGMA-b-DEAEMA) micelles showed biofilm removal efficacy of > 40% and a 1.4-log reduction in cell viability of C. albicans in its single-species biofilms. In addition, micelles alone promoted high removal percentage in a mixed biofilm of C. albicans and C. tropicalis (~ 70%) and remarkably reduced cell viability of both strains. Co-delivery of fluconazole (Flu) and amphotericin B (AmB) with micelles showed synergistic effects on C. albicans biofilms (3-log reduction for AmB and 2.2-log reduction for Flu). Similar effects were noted on C. albicans planktonic cells when treated with the micellar system combined with AmB but not with Flu. Moreover, micelle-drug combinations showed an enhancement in the antibiofilm activity of Flu and AmB against dual-species biofilms. Furthermore, in vivo studies using Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes revealed no obvious toxicity of the micelles. Targeting morphologic transitions provides a new strategy for defeating fungal biofilms of polymorphic resistance strains and can be potentially used in counteracting Candida virulence. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1586–1597
Number of pages12
JournalDrug Delivery and Translational Research
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2021


  • Antibiofilm activity
  • Biofilms
  • Candida
  • Hyphae inhibition
  • Micelles

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