Cationic Pillararenes Potently Inhibit Biofilm Formation without Affecting Bacterial Growth and Viability

Roymon Joseph, Alissa Naugolny, Mark Feldman, Ido M. Herzog, Micha Fridman*, Yoram Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations


It is estimated that up to 80% of bacterial infections are accompanied by biofilm formation. Since bacteria in biofilms are less susceptible to antibiotics than are bacteria in the planktonic state, biofilm-associated infections pose a major health threat, and there is a pressing need for antibiofilm agents. Here we report that water-soluble cationic pillararenes differing in the quaternary ammonium groups efficiently inhibited the formation of biofilms by clinically important Gram-positive pathogens. Biofilm inhibition did not result from antimicrobial activity; thus, the compounds should not inhibit growth of natural bacterial flora. Moreover, none of the cationic pillararenes caused detectable membrane damage to red blood cells or toxicity to human cells in culture. The results indicate that cationic pillararenes have potential for use in medical applications in which biofilm formation is a problem.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)754-757
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 27 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Israel Science Foundation (Grants 6/14 to M.F. and 804/13 to Y.C.). R.J. acknowledges funding by the Post-Doctoral Program for outstanding Post-Doctoral Researchers from China and India (PBC scholarship).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.


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