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Engineered Nanoparticles with Antimicrobial Property

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Background: The urge for the development and manufacture of new and effective antimicrobial agents is particularly demanding especially in the present scenario of emerging multiple drug resistant microorganisms. A promising initiative would be to converge nanotechnology to develop novel strategies for antimicrobial treatment. These distinct nano scale properties confer impressive antimicrobial capabilities to nanomaterials that could be exploited. Nanotechnology particularly modulates the physicochemical properties of organic and inorganic nanoparticles, rendering them suitable for various applications related to antimicrobial therapy compared to their bulk counterparts. However, a major issue associated with such usage of nanomaterials is the safety concern on heath care system. Hence, a thorough put knowledge on biocompatible nanostructures intended for antimicrobial therapy is needed.

Methods: A systematic review of the existing scientific literature is being attempted here which includes the properties and applications of a few nano structured materials for antimicrobial therapy and also the mechanism of action of nanomaterials as antimicrobial agents. Silver (Ag), Graphene, Quantum dots (QDs), Zinc oxide (ZnO) and chitosan nanoparticles are taken as representatives of metals, semiconductors, metal oxides and organic nanoparticles that have found several applications in antimicrobial therapy are reviewed in detail.

Results and Conclusion: An ideal anti microbial should selectively kill or inhibit the growth of microbes but cause little or no adverse effect to the host. Each of the engineered nanomaterials reviewed here has its own advantages and disadvantages. Nanomaterials in general directly disrupt the microbial cell membrane, interact with DNA and proteins or they could indirectly initiate the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that damage microbial cell components and viruses. Some like silver nanoparticles have broad spectrum antibacterial activity while others like cadmium containing QDs shows both antibacterial as well as antiprotozoal activity. Nano material formulations can be used directly or as surface coatings or as effective carriers for delivering antibiotics. Polycationic nature of Chitosan NPs helps in conjugation and stabilization of metallic nanoparticles which will enhance their effective usage in antimicrobial therapy.
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Keywords: Anti-microbial; ROS; bacteria; biofilms; graphene; nanoparticles; oxidative stress; quantum dots; silver; zinc oxide

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: November 1, 2017

This article was made available online on October 17, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Engineered Nanoparticles with Antimicrobial Property".

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  • Current Drug Metabolism aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in drug metabolism and disposition. The journal serves as an international forum for the publication of timely reviews in drug metabolism. Current Drug Metabolism is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments. The journal covers the following areas:

    In vitro systems including CYP-450; enzyme induction and inhibition; drug-drug interactions and enzyme kinetics; pharmacokinetics, toxicokinetics, species scaling and extrapolations; P-glycoprotein and transport carriers; target organ toxicity and interindividual variability; drug metabolism and disposition studies; extrahepatic metabolism; phase I and phase II metabolism; recent developments for the identification of drug metabolites and adducts.
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