Liquid crystal delivery of ciprofloxacin to treat infections of the female reproductive tract

Simone Pisano, Matteo Giustiniani, Lewis Francis, Deyarina Gonzalez, Lavinia Margarit, I. Martin Sheldon, Donatella Paolino, Massimo Fresta, R. Steven Conlan, Gareth D. Healey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Infections of the female reproductive tract are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in humans, requiring significant investment to sustain treatment and representing a major challenge to health. The increasing prevalence of bacterial resistance, and an almost complete absence of new antibiotic therapies for the past five decades, mean there is a desperate need for novel approaches to the treatment of bacterial infections. Within the present study, we demonstrate the effective ex vivo treatment of bacterial infection of the female reproductive tract using a controlled-release, liquid crystal-based platform. Liquid crystal encapsulation of ciprofloxacin significantly enhanced its bactericidal efficacy and reduced cell toxicity. Liquid crystal structures are low-cost, simple to manufacture and provide a sustained-release profile of encapsulated ciprofloxacin. Treatment of Escherichia coli infected reproductive tract epithelial cells and whole organ cultures with liquid crystal encapsulated ciprofloxacin proved to be an effective strategy for reducing bacterial load and reproductive tract inflammatory responses to infection. These data suggest that such an approach could provide an efficacious treatment modality for enhancing the effectiveness of current antibiotic therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number36
JournalBiomedical Microdevices
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • Bacterial infection
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Drug delivery
  • Female reproductive tract
  • Female reproductive tract infection
  • Liquid crystal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology


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