The complex nature of bacterial cell membrane and structure of biofilm has challenged the efficacy of antimicrobial photodynamic therapy. This study was aimed to synthesize a polycationic chitosan-conjugated rose bengal (CSRB) photosensitizer and test its antibiofilm efficacy on Enterococcus faecalis (gram positive) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (gram negative) using photodynamic therapy. During experiments, CSRB was tested along with an anionic photosensitizer rose bengal (RB) and a cationic photosensitizer methylene blue (MB) for uptake and killing efficacy on 7-day-old E. faecalis and P. aeruginosa biofilms. Microbiological culture based analysis was used to analyze the cell viability, while laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) was used to examine the structure of biofilm. The synthesized CSRB showed absorbance spectrum similar to the RB. The concentration of CSRB uptaken by both the bacterial biofilms was significantly higher than that of RB and MB (P < 0.05). Photoactivation resulted in significantly higher elimination of both bacterial biofilms sensitized with CSRB than RB and MB. The structure of biofilm under LSCM was found to be disrupted following CSRB treatment. The present study highlighted the importance of inherent cell membrane permeabilizing effect of chitosan and increased cell/biofilm uptake of conjugated photosensitizer to produce significant antibiofilm efficacy during photodynamic therapy.
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