Selective Antimicrobial Effects of Curcumin@Halloysite Nanoformulation: A Caenorhabditis elegans Study

Giuseppe Lazzara, Filippo Parisi, Rawil Fakhrullin, Farida Akhatova, Gölnur Fakhrullina, Elvira Khakimova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Alterations in the normal gastrointestinal microbial community caused by unhealthy diet, environmental factors, and antibiotic overuse may severely affect human health and well-being. Novel antimicrobial drug formulations targeting pathogenic microflora while not affecting or even supporting symbiotic microflora are urgently needed. Here we report fabrication of a novel antimicrobial nanocontainer based on halloysite nanotubes loaded with curcumin and protected with a dextrin outer layer (HNTs+Curc/DX) and its effective use to suppress the overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria in Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes. Nanocontainers have been obtained using vacuum-facilitated loading of hydrophobic curcumin into halloysite lumens. We have applied UV-vis and infrared spectroscopy, thermogravimetry and microscopy to characterize the HNTs+Curc/DX nanocontainers. In experiments in vitro we found that HNTs+Curc/DX effectively suppressed the growth of Serratia marcescens cells, whereas Escherichia coli bacteria were not affected. We applied HNTs+Curc/DX nanocontainers to alleviate the S. marcescens infection in C. elegans nematodes in vivo. The nematodes ingest HNTs+Curc/DX at 4-6 ng per worm, which results in improvement of the nematodes' fertility and life expectancy. Remarkably, treatment of S. marcescens-infected nematodes with HNTs+Curc/DX nanocontainers completely restored the longevity, demonstrating the enhanced bioavailability of hydrophobic curcumin. We believe that our results reported here open new avenues for fabrication of effective antimicrobial nanoformulations based on hydrophobic drugs and clay nanotubes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23050-23064
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


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