Local delivery of deep marine fungus-derived equisetin from PVP nanofibers for anti-MRSA activity


The rate of bacterial drug resistance has exploded in recent years and is becoming a major health concern worldwide. The most common is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus that causes skin and soft tissue infections therefore developing new and effective anti-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus drugs is highly desirable.

Screening of natural products has been recognized as a promising method for finding new methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus drugs and studies have shown that equisetin and epiequisetin compounds produced from the screening of anti- methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus obtained from South China Sea have demonstrated excellent bacterial activities and especially the former. Unfortunately, equisetin has not been used in a clinical setting due to the inappropriate formulation that may further results in medical complications.

To this note, efficient systems based on nanofibers for delivering equisetin to the wounds infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus have been identified as a promising method of enhancing the practical application of equisetin in treating such infections.

A group of researchers at Third Military Medical University from the Department of Pharmacy, Institute of Surgery Research, Daping Hospital led by Dr. Sanjun Shi recently investigated the delivery of equisetin using nanofiber to enhance its practical application in destructing antibacterial-resistant bacteria. In particular, its anti-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus properties and activities were evaluated. Their work is currently published in Chemical Engineering Journal.

Briefly, the research team started their studies by obtaining Fusarium exhibiting anti- methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus activities from deep seas. Next, fermentation was carried out to screen equisetin compound. Eventually, a local system for drug delivery was developed based on polyvinylpyrrolidone to load the liposoluble agent to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infected wounds through electrospinning method.

The authors observed that the equisetin nanofibers exhibited good flexibility and remarkable foldability after electrospinning process. In addition, it was worth noting that the antibacterial effects were significantly enhanced in the equisetin nanofibers as compared to the initially used cefoxitin treatment. Furthermore, owing to the efficiency of the system, the infected wounds treated using equisetin nanofibers healed better and faster than those treated by cefoxitin thus saving cost and time. This was also attributed to better drug retention without the loss of the anti- methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus activity when covering the wound.

In a nutshell, the research team from Third Military Medical University successfully demonstrated the feasibility of equisetin as a promising solution for skin and soft tissues infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacterium through a local and efficient nanofiber delivery system. The equisetin nanofibers successfully met the requisite clinical requirements thus will pave way for developing anti- methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus drugs as well as other drugs for treating other bacteria-resistant caused infections.

Local delivery of deep marine fungus-derived equisetin from polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) nanofibers for anti-MRSA activity - Advances in Engineering

About the author

Dr. Sanjun Shi received his Ph.D. in Pharmacy from Sichuan University at Chengdu in 2013. He joined the Department of Pharmacy at Daping Hospital, Third Military Medical University as an Assistant Professor in July 2013. At present, he studied in Brigham and Women’s Hospital of Harvard Medical School as a visiting research fellow. Dr. Shi leads a research group involved in the nanoparticle drug delivery systems.

His research focuses primarily on the design, synthesis, characterization and evaluation of nanostructured biomaterials for drug delivery to enable treatments of diseases such as wound healing, cancer and diabetes.

He has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles, ~10 abstracts/presentations on these topics. He contributes to the development of novel applications of nanoformulations which was supported by the project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China and National Science and Technology Major Project (China).


Luo, M., Ming, Y., Wang, L., Li, Y., Li, B., Chen, J., & Shi, S. (2018). Local delivery of deep marine fungus-derived equisetin from polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) nanofibers for anti-MRSA activity. Chemical Engineering Journal, 350, 157-163.

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