Cranberry extract-based formulations for preventing bacterial biofilms
Generating formulations for the delivery of a mixture of natural compounds extracted from natural sources is a challenge because of unknown active and inactive ingredients and possible interactions between them. As one example, natural cranberry extracts have been proposed for the prevention of biofilm formation on dental pellicle or teeth. However, such extracts may contain phenolic acids, flavonol glycosides along with other constituents like coumaroyl iridoid glycosides, flavonoids, alpha-linolenic acid, n-6 (or n-3) fatty acids, and crude fiber. Due to the presence of a variety of compounds, determining which molecules (and how many molecules) are essential for preventing biofilm growth is nontrivial to ascertain. Therefore, a formulation that could contain natural, unrefined, cranberry extract (with all its constituent compounds) at high loading would be ideal. Accordingly, we have generated several candidate formulations including poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA)-based microencapsulation of cranberry extract (CE15) as well as formulations including stearic acid along with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) or Ethyl lauroyl arginate (LAE) complexed with cranberry extracts (CE15). We found that stearic acid in combination with PVP or LAE as excipients led to higher loading of the active and inactive compounds in CE15 as compared with a PLGA microencapsulation and also sustained release of CE15 in a tunable manner. Using this method, we have been able to generate two successful formulations (one preventative based, one treatment based) that effectively inhibit biofilm growth when incubated with saliva. In addition to cranberry extract, this technique could also be a promising candidate for other natural extracts to form controlled release systems.