ACS | Nanomaterials: The New Antimicrobial Magic Bullet
ABSTRACT - Bacterial infections are a significant cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide, despite decades of use of numerous existing antibiotics and constant efforts by researchers to discover new antibiotics. The emergence of infections associated with antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains, has amplified the pressure to develop additional bactericidal therapies or new unorthodox approaches that can deal with antimicrobial resistance. Nanomaterial-based strategies, particularly those that do not rely on conventional small-molecule antibiotics, offer promise in part due to their ability to dodge existing mechanisms used by drug-resistant bacteria. Therefore, the use of nanomaterial-based formulations has attracted attention in the field of antibiotic therapy. In this Review, we highlight novel and emerging nanomaterial-based formulations along with details about the mechanisms by which nanoparticles can target bacterial infections and antimicrobial resistance. A detailed discussion about types and the activities of nanoparticles is presented, along with how they can be used as either delivery systems or as inherent antimicrobials, or a combination of both. Lastly, we highlight some toxicological concerns for the use of nanoparticles in antibiotic therapies.
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