Mesh and layered electrospun fiber architectures as vehicles for Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus crispatus intended for vaginal delivery

Farnaz Minooei, Abhinav R. Kanukunta, Mohamed Y. Mahmoud, Nicole M. Gilbert, Warren G. Lewis, Amanda L. Lewis, Hermann B. Frieboes, Jill M. Steinbach-Rankins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a recurrent condition that affects millions of women worldwide. The use of probiotics is a promising alternative or an adjunct to traditional antibiotics for BV prevention and treatment. However, current administration regimens often require daily administration, thus contributing to low user adherence and recurrence. Here, electrospun fibers were designed to separately incorporate and sustain two lactic acid producing model organisms, Lactobacillus crispatus (L. crispatus) and Lactobacillus acidophilus (L. acidophilus). Fibers were made of polyethylene oxide and polylactic-co-glycolic acid in two different architectures, one with distinct layers and the other with co-spun components. Degradation of mesh and layered fibers was evaluated via mass loss and scanning electron microscopy. The results show that after 48 h and 6 days, cultures of mesh and layered fibers yielded as much as 108 and 109 CFU probiotic/mg fiber in total, respectively, with corresponding daily recovery on the order of 108 CFU/(mg·day). In addition, cultures of the fibers yielded lactic acid and caused a significant reduction in pH, indicating a high level of metabolic activity. The formulations did not affect vaginal keratinocyte viability or cell membrane integrity in vitro. Finally, mesh and layered probiotic fiber dosage forms demonstrated inhibition of Gardnerella, one of the most prevalent and abundant bacteria associated with BV, respectively resulting in 8- and 6.5-log decreases in Gardnerella viability in vitro after 24 h. This study provides initial proof of concept that mesh and layered electrospun fiber architectures developed as dissolving films may offer a viable alternative to daily probiotic administration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number213614
JournalBiomaterials Advances
Volume154
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Keywords

  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Electrospun fibers
  • Gardnerella
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus crispatus
  • Sustained release

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