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Non-invasive imaging of oxygen concentration in a complex in vitro biofilm infection model using 19 F MRI: Persistence of an oxygen sink despite prolonged antibiotic therapy.

Magnetic resonance in medicine (2019-08-03)
Jeffrey W Simkins, Philip S Stewart, Sarah L Codd, Joseph D Seymour
ABSTRACT

Oxygen availability is a critical determinant of microbial biofilm activity and antibiotic susceptibility. However, measuring oxygen gradients in these systems remains difficult, with the standard microelectrode approach being both invasive and limited to single-point measurement. The goal of the study was to develop a 19 F MRI approach for 2D oxygen mapping in biofilm systems and to visualize oxygen consumption behavior in real time during antibiotic therapy. Oxygen-sensing beads were created by encapsulating an emulsion of oxygen-sensing fluorocarbon into alginate gel. Escherichia coli biofilms were grown in and on the alginate matrix, which was contained inside a packed bed column subjected to nutrient flow, mimicking the complex porous structure of human wound tissue, and subjected to antibiotic challenge. The linear relationship between 19 F spin-lattice relaxation rate R1 and local oxygen concentration permitted noninvasive spatial mapping of oxygen distribution in real time over the course of biofilm growth and subsequent antibiotic challenge. This technique was used to visualize persistence of microbial oxygen respiration during continuous gentamicin administration, providing a time series of complete spatial maps detailing the continued bacterial utilization of oxygen during prolonged chemotherapy in an in vitro biofilm model with complex spatial structure. Antibiotic exposure temporarily causes oxygen consumption to enter a pseudosteady state wherein oxygen distribution becomes fixed; oxygen sink expansion resumes quickly after antibiotic clearance. This technique may provide valuable information for future investigations of biofilms by permitting the study of complex geometries (typical of in vivo biofilms) and facilitating noninvasive oxygen measurement.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Calcium chloride, anhydrous, granular, ≤7.0 mm, ≥93.0%
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L-α-Phosphatidylcholine, egg yolk, Type XVI-E, ≥99% (TLC), lyophilized powder
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PKH26 Red Fluorescent Cell Linker Mini Kit for General Cell Membrane Labeling, Distributed for Phanos Technologies
Sigma-Aldrich
Alginic acid sodium salt from brown algae, low viscosity