Cationic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are an interesting class of gene-encoded molecules
endowed with a broad-spectrum of anti-infective activity and immunomodulatory properties. They
represent promising candidates for the development of new antibiotics, mainly due to their membraneperturbing
mechanism of action that very rarely induces microbial resistance. However, bringing
AMPs into the clinical field is hampered by some intrinsic limitations, encompassing low peptide
bioavailability at the target site and high peptide susceptibility to proteolytic degradation. In this regard,
nanotechnologies represent an innovative strategy to circumvent these issues. According to the
literature, a large variety of nanoparticulate systems have been employed for drug-delivery, bioimaging,
biosensors or nanoantibiotics. The possibility of conjugating different types of molecules, including
AMPs, to these systems, allows the production of nanoformulations able to enhance the biological
profile of the compound while reducing its cytotoxicity and prolonging its residence time. In this minireview,
inorganic gold nanoparticles (NPs) and biodegradable polymeric NPs made of poly(lactide-coglycolide)
are described with particular emphasis on examples of the conjugation of AMPs to them, to
highlight the great potential of such nanoformulations as alternative antimicrobials.
Keywords: Antimicrobial peptides, antibiotic-resistance, drug delivery, nanoparticles, AMPs, nanoformulation.
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