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Recommended as a medical emergency, infectious keratitis with an acute and rapid disease progression can lead to serious damage of vision and even blindness. Herein, we present a kind of theranostic agents, which are made of vancomycin (Van)-modified fluorescent silicon nanoparticles (SiNPs-Van), enabling rapid and non-invasive diagnosis and treatment of Gram-positive bacteria-induced keratitis in a simultaneous manner. Typically, the resultant SiNPs-Van nanoagents have an ability of imaging bacteria in a short time both in vitro (5 min) and in vivo (10 min), making them an efficacious diagnostic agent for the detection of bacterial keratitis. In addition, the SiNPs-Van feature distinct antimicrobial activity, with superior activity of 92.5% at a concentration of 0.5 μg/mL against Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus ); comparatively, the antimicrobial rate of free vancomycin is 23.3% at the same concentration. We further explore the SiNPs-Van agents as eye drops for therapy of S. aureus -induced bacterial keratitis on rat model. Represented by slit-lamp scores, the keratitis severity of SiNPs-Van-treated corneas is 3.4, which is 59.6% and 77.3% slighter than vancomycin-(8.2 score) and PBS-treated corneas (15.0 score), respectively. The infected corneas recover to normal (1 score) after 7-d of SiNPs-Van treatment. Above results suggest that the SiNPs-Van could serve as a new kind of high-quality nanotheranostic agents, especially suitable for simultaneous diagnosis and therapy of Gram-positive bacteria keratitis.

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Publication history

Received: 17 June 2020
Revised: 04 August 2020
Accepted: 04 August 2020
Published: 05 January 2021
Issue date: January 2021

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© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature

Acknowledgements

We thanks financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21825402, 21575096, 31400860, and 21605109), Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province of China (Nos. BK20170061 and BK20191417) and the Program for Jiangsu Specially-Appointed Professors to Prof. Yao He, a project funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD), 111 Project as well as Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology (NANO-CIC).

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Email: nanores@tup.tsinghua.edu.cn

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