Background: Despite the great development of drug-based therapy in all areas of medicine,
microbial infections remain nowadays one of the most complicated issues in human healthcare. In order
to improve drugs efficiency, many nanocarriers have been developed, aiming to an increased therapeutic
efficacy based on targeted drug delivery at infection sites, reduced drug-resistance by microbial organisms
and increased therapeutic index. This leads to reduced side effects and improved patient compliance
thanks to the decreased frequency of administration.
Objective: Many materials can be used to prepare nanocarriers, such as lipids, polymers or inorganic
particles. Among these, polymers are of great interest including a wide range of materials with the possibility
of modification of their physical-chemical properties.
Method: Polymeric nanocarriers are here classified as nanogels, dendrimers, polymersomes and polymeric
micelles and a general discussion about synthetic strategies is given. Strategy is, indeed, fundamental
to control the dimensions of the system, ranging between 10 to 1000 nm, and it is set up also basing
on drug loading procedure, incorporating, encapsulating or conjugating the antimicrobial drug.
Conclusion: In addition, the main mechanisms of interaction of polymeric nanocarriers with microbial
organisms are described and, eventually, peculiar advantages and drawbacks of each class of these systems