Nat Commun. 2022 Aug 11;13(1):4712. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-32453-3.
The prodrug approach has emerged as a promising solution to combat bacterial resistance and enhance treatment efficacy against bacterial infections. Here, we report an adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-activated prodrug system for on-demand treatment of bacterial infection. The prodrug system benefits from the synergistic action of zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 and polyacrylamide hydrogel microsphere, which simultaneously transports indole-3-acetic acid and horseradish peroxidase in a single carrier while preventing the premature activation of indole-3-acetic acid. The ATP-responsive characteristic of zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 allows the prodrug system to be activated by the ATP secreted by bacteria to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS), displaying exceptional broad-spectrum antimicrobial ability. Upon disruption of the bacterial membrane by ROS, the leaked intracellular ATP from dead bacteria can accelerate the activation of the prodrug system to further enhance antibacterial efficiency. In vivo experiments in a mouse model demonstrates the applicability of the prodrug system for wound disinfection with minimal side effects.