Biomimetic hydroxyapatite nanocrystals are an active carrier for Salmonella bacteriophages


Purpose: The use of bacteriophages represents a valid alternative to conventional antimicrobial treatments, overcoming the widespread bacterial antibiotic resistance phenomenon. In this work, we evaluated whether biomimetic hydroxyapatite (HA) nanocrystals are able to enhance some properties of bacteriophages. The final goal of this study was to demonstrate that biomimetic HA nanocrystals can be used for bacteriophage delivery in the context of bacterial infections, and contribute – at the same time – to enhance some of the biological properties of the same bacteriophages such as stability, preservation, antimicrobial activity, and so on. Materials and methods: Phage isolation and characterization were carried out by using Mitomycin C and following double-layer agar technique. The biomimetic HA water suspension was synthesized in order to obtain nanocrystals with plate-like morphology and nanometric dimensions. The interaction of phages with the HA was investigated by dynamic light scattering and Zeta potential analyses. The cytotoxicity and intracellular killing activities of the phage–HA complex were evaluated in human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells. The bacterial inhibition capacity of the complex was assessed on chicken minced meat samples infected with Salmonella Rissen. Results: Our data highlighted that the biomimetic HA nanocrystal–bacteriophage complex was more stable and more effective than phages alone in all tested experimental conditions. Conclusion: Our results evidenced the important contribution of biomimetic HA nanocrystals: they act as an excellent carrier for bacteriophage delivery and enhance its biological characteristics. This study confirmed the significant role of the mineral HA when it is complexed with biological entities like bacteriophages, as it has been shown for molecules such as lactoferrin.


open access article


biomimetic hydroxyapatite nanocrystals, Salmonella Rissen, bacteriophages, antibiotic resistance


Fulgione, A., Ianniello, F., Papaianni, M., Contaldi, F., Sgamma, T., Giannini, C., Pastore, S., Velotta, R., Della Ventura, B., Roveri, N., Lelli, M., Capuano, F., Capparelli, R. (2019) Biomimetic hydroxyapatite nanocrystals are an active carrier for Salmonella bacteriophages. International Journal of Nanomedicine, 14, pp. 2219—2232.


Research Institute

Institute for Allied Health Sciences Research