Chemo-photothermal therapy of chitosan/gold nanorod clusters for antibacterial treatment against the infection of planktonic and biofilm MRSA

G. R. Nirmal, Zih Chan Lin, Tai Sheng Chiu, Ahmed Alalaiwe, Chia Chih Liao*, Jia You Fang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review


Bacterial infections trigger inflammation and impede the closure of skin wounds. The misuse of antibiotics exacerbates skin infections by generating multidrug-resistant bacteria. In this study, we developed chemo-photothermal therapy (chemo-PTT) based on near-infrared (NIR)-irradiated chitosan/gold nanorod (GNR) clusters as anti-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) agents. The nanocomposites exhibited an average size of 223 nm with a surface charge of 36 mV. These plasmonic nanocomposites demonstrated on-demand and rapid hyperthermal action under NIR. The combined effect of positive charge and PTT by NIR-irradiated nanocomposites resulted in a remarkable inhibition rate of 96 % against planktonic MRSA, indicating a synergistic activity compared to chitosan nanoparticles or GNR alone. The nanocomposites easily penetrated the biofilm matrix. The combination of chemical and photothermal treatments by NIR-stimulated clusters significantly damaged the biofilm structure, eradicating MRSA inside the biomass. NIR-irradiated chitosan/GNR clusters increased the skin temperature of mice by 13 °C. The plasmonic nanocomposites induced negligible skin irritation in vivo. In summary, this novel nanosystem demonstrated potent antibacterial effects against planktonic and biofilm MRSA, showcasing the possible efficacy in treating skin infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number131673
Pages (from-to)131673
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Issue numberPt 1
StatePublished - 05 2024

Bibliographical note

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  • Biofilm
  • Chitosan
  • Gold nanorod
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Photothermal therapy
  • Skin
  • Nanotubes/chemistry
  • Biofilms/drug effects
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology
  • Gold/chemistry
  • Staphylococcal Infections/drug therapy
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Animals
  • Plankton/drug effects
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus/drug effects
  • Mice
  • Chitosan/chemistry
  • Nanocomposites/chemistry
  • Photothermal Therapy/methods


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