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Nat Nanotechnol. 2009 Jul;4(7):457-63. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2009.153. Epub 2009 Jun 28.

Self-assembled cationic peptide nanoparticles as an efficient antimicrobial agent.

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  • 1Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, 31 Biopolis Way, Singapore 138669, Singapore.

Abstract

Antimicrobial cationic peptides are of interest because they can combat multi-drug-resistant microbes. Most peptides form alpha-helices or beta-sheet-like structures that can insert into and subsequently disintegrate negatively charged bacterial cell surfaces. Here, we show that a novel class of core-shell nanoparticles formed by self-assembly of an amphiphilic peptide have strong antimicrobial properties against a range of bacteria, yeasts and fungi. The nanoparticles show a high therapeutic index against Staphylococcus aureus infection in mice and are more potent than their unassembled peptide counterparts. Using Staphylococcus aureus-infected meningitis rabbits, we show that the nanoparticles can cross the blood-brain barrier and suppress bacterial growth in infected brains. Taken together, these nanoparticles are promising antimicrobial agents that can be used to treat brain infections and other infectious diseases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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