Solubilization and stabilization from rapid degradation by the use of nanocarriers are necessary to exploit curcumin's phototoxic potential towards pathogenic bacteria. However, maintenance of the phototoxicity requires a careful selection of type and amount of nanocarrier. The phototoxicity of an aqueous supersaturated curcumin solution without nanocarrier was compared to that of curcumin solubilized in polyethylene glycol 400 (PEG 400), Pluronic® F 127 (F 127) and hydroxypropyl-γ-cyclodextrin (HPγCD) on Staphylococcus (S.) epidermidis biofilms and suspensions. The nanocarriers stabilized the hydrophobic photosensitizer (PS) towards physical precipitation and hydrolytic degradation; however, photobleaching was pronounced (46-100% degradation) after irradiation with a dose of ≈ 9 J/cm(2) blue light depending on selected nanocarrier. Complete inactivation of S. epidermidis in suspension was achieved after exposure of ≈ 5 J/cm(2) combined with curcumin in 20% PEG 400 and 0.5% HPγCD and less than 1J/cm(2) light in case of a supersaturated curcumin solution. Curcumin in 1.5% F 127 induced phototoxicity towards bacterial biofilms; however, it was not phototoxic towards planktonic S. epidermidis. All curcumin preparations investigated demonstrated significant and similar phototoxicity towards biofilms (13-29% bacterial survival). A ≈ 9 J/cm(2) light dose was not sufficient to eradicate S. epidermidis biofilm completely under the current conditions.