Friday, October 7, 2016

mPEG-PCL investigated for treatment of fungal diseases

PolySciTech Division of Akina, Inc. ( provides a wide array of biodegradable polymers including PEG-PCL. Typically diblock mPEG-PCL is utilized primarily to form drug micelles for drug delivery. However, recently, researchers have found that mPEG-PCL selectively initiates native Staphylococcus lugdunensis to undergo fermentation, which produces acetic and isovaleric acids that act to suppress the growth of fungal Candida parapsilosis. This research holds promise for providing treatment to a wide array of fungal skin diseases. Read more: Kao, M. S., Y. Wang, S. Marito, S. Huang, and W. Z. Lin. "The mPEG-PCL Copolymer for Selective Fermentation of Staphylococcus lugdunensis Against Candida parapsilosis in the Human Microbiome." J Microb Biochem Technol 8 (2016): 259-265.

“Abstract: Many human skin diseases, such as seborrheic dermatitis, potentially occur due to the over-growth of fungi. It remains a challenge to develop fungicides with a lower risk of generating resistant fungi and non-specifically killing commensal microbes. Our probiotic approaches using a selective fermentation initiator of skin commensal bacteria, fermentation metabolites or their derivatives provide novel therapeutics to rein in the over-growth of fungi. Staphylococcus lugdunensis (S. lugdunensis) bacteria and Candida parapsilosis (C. parapsilosis) fungi coexist in the scalp microbiome. S. lugdunensis interfered with the growth of C. parapsilosis via fermentation. A methoxy poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(ɛ-caprolactone) (mPEG-PCL) copolymer functioned as a selective fermentation initiator of S. lugdunensis, selectively triggering the S. lugdunensis fermentation to produce acetic and isovaleric acids. The acetic acid and its pro-drug diethyleneglycol diacetate (Ac-DEG-Ac) effectively suppressed the growth of C. parapsilosis in vitro and impeded the fungal expansion in the human dandruff. We demonstrate for the first time that S. lugdunensis is a skin probiotic bacterium that can exploit mPEG-PCL to yield fungicidal short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). The concept of bacterial fermentation as a part of skin immunity to re-balance the dysbiotic microbiome warrants a novel avenue for studying the probiotic function of the skin microbiome in promoting health.” 
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