Targeting extracellular lectins of Pseudomonas aeruginosa with glycomimetic liposomes

The antimicrobial resistance crisis requires novel approaches for the therapy of infections especially with Gram-negative pathogens. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is defined as priority 1 pathogen by the WHO and thus of particular interest. Its drug resistance is primarily associated with biofilm formation and essential constituents of its extracellular biofilm matrix are the two lectins, LecA and LecB. Here, we report microbial lectin-specific targeted nanovehicles based on liposomes. LecA- and LecB-targeted phospholipids were synthesized and used for the preparation of liposomes. These liposomes with varying surface ligand density were then analyzed for their competitive and direct lectin binding activity. We have further developed a microfluidic device that allowed the optical detection of the targeting process to the bacterial lectins. Our data showed that the targeted liposomes are specifically binding to their respective lectin and remain firmly attached to surfaces containing these lectins. This synthetic and biophysical study provides the basis for future application in targeted antibiotic delivery to overcome antimicrobial resistance.