Photodynamic action of Tri-meso (N-methyl-pyridyl), meso (N-tetradecyl-pyridyl) porphine on Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilms grown on Ti6Al4V alloy

Enrica Saino, Maria S. Sbarra, Carla Renata Arciola, Mariangela Scavone, Nora Bloise, Peter Nikolov, Fernanda Ricchelli, Livia Visai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Staphylococcus epidermidis is a leading cause of nosocomial infections, and its virulence is attributable to formation of biofilm, especially on implanted devices. Photodynamic treatment (PDT) has been actively investigated for the eradication of bacterial biofilm growing on dental plaques and oral implants. In this study, we used Tri-meso (N-methyl-pyridyl), meso (N-tetradecyl-pyridyl) porphine (C14) for inactivation of two structurally distinct S. epidermidis biofilms grown on Ti6Al4V alloy and compared its photosensitizing efficiency with that of the parent molecule, tetra-substituted N-methy-lpyridyl-porphine (C1). A more significant reduction in bacterial survival was observed when both bacterial biofilms were exposed to a lower dose of C14, and simultaneously to visible light in comparison with C1. The different responses of both staphylococcal biofilms to C1- or C14-treatment appeared to depend on photosensitizer endocellular concentration. C14 bound to both biofilms to a greater extent than C1. Moreover, C14 penetrates deeper into the bacterial membranes, as determined by fluorescence quenching experiments with methylviologen, allowing for better bacterial killing photoefficiency. Confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM) analysis indicated damage to bacterial cell membranes in both photodynamically treated biofilms, while disruption of PDT-treated biofilm was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). In summary, C14 may be a potential photosensitizer for the inactivation of staphylococcal biofilms for many device-related infections which are accessible to visible light.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)636-645
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010


  • Meso (N-tetradecyl-pyridyl) porphine (C14)
  • Photodynamic therapy (PDT)
  • S. Epidermidis biofilms
  • Tetra-substituted N-methyl-pyridyl- porphine (C1)
  • Tri-meso (N-methyl-pyridyl)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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