• biofilm; bacterial vaginosis;
  • chitosan;
  • carbopol;
  • hydrogels;
  • mucosal drug delivery;
  • microscopy;
  • absorption


Recurrence of bacterial vaginosis is attributed to the inability of various formulations to disrupt bacterial biofilms. A negatively charged polysaccharide matrix coats the bacterial communities in the biofilm and restricts the penetration of antibiotics. Therefore, bacteria in the deeper segments of the biofilm persist and perpetuate the infection. In this study, we have tested the efficacy of two bioadhesive polymers, cationic chitosan and anionic polycarbophil, to disrupt Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms grown in the Center for Disease Control bioreactor as well as on the 96-well plates. The biofilms were treated with various concentrations of polycarbophil and chitosan at pH 4 or 6. Biofilm integrity following various treatments was evaluated by crystal violet stain and laser confocal microscopy employing Syto9 (live-cell stain) and propidium iodide (dead-cell stain). These studies demonstrated that chitosan gel disrupts the P. aeruginosa biofilm more effectively than does polycarbophil; and this effect is independent of the pH and charge densities on either polymers. � 2013 U.S. Government. 102:2096–2101, 2013