Antimicrobial Blue Light Inactivation of Gram-Negative Pathogens in Biofilms: In Vitro and in Vivo Studies

Yucheng Wang, Ximing Wu, Jia Chen, Rehab Amin, Min Lu, Brijesh Bhayana, Jie Zhao, Clinton K. Murray, Michael R. Hamblin, David C. Hooper, Tianhong Dai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Background. Biofilms affect >80% bacterial infections in human and are usually difficult to eradicate because of their inherent drug resistance. Methods. We investigated the effectiveness of antimicrobial blue light (aBL) (wavelength, 415 nm) for inactivating Acinetobacter baumannii or Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms in 96-well microplates or infected mouse burn wounds. Results. In vitro, in 96-well microplates, exposure of 24-hour-old and 72-hour-old A. baumannii biofilms to 432 J/cm2 aBL resulted in inactivation of 3.59 log10 and 3.18 log10 colony-forming units (CFU), respectively. For P. aeruginosa biofilms, similar levels of inactivation - 3.02 log10 and 3.12 log10 CFU, respectively - were achieved. In mouse burn wounds infected with 5 × 106 CFU of A. baumannii, approximately 360 J/cm2 and 540 J/cm2 aBL was required to inactivate 3 log10 CFU in biofilms when delivered 24 and 48 hours, respectively, after bacterial inoculation. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis revealed the presence of endogenous porphyrins in both A. baumannii and P. aeruginosa. TUNEL assay detected no apoptotic cells in aBL-irradiated mouse skin at up to 24 hours after aBL exposure (540 J/cm2). Conclusions. aBL has antimicrobial activity in biofilms of A. baumannii and P. aeruginosa and is a potential therapeutic approach for biofilm-related infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1380-1387
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Acinetobacter baumannii
  • HPLCantimicrobial blue light
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • TUNEL assay
  • biofilm
  • bioluminescence imaging HPLC
  • burn wound
  • endogenous porphyrins
  • mouse model


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