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Pharmaceuticals 2016, 9(3), 42; doi:10.3390/ph9030042

Polylactic Acid—Lemongrass Essential Oil Nanocapsules with Antimicrobial Properties

Smart Materials Group, Nanophysics Department, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Via Morego 30, Genoa 16163, Italy
Department of Science and Engineering of Oxide Materials and Nanomaterials, Faculty of Applied Chemistry and Materials Science, University Politehnica of Bucharest, Polizu Street No. 1-7, Bucharest 011061, Romania
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Biology, University of Bucharest, Aleea Portocalelor, No. 1-3, Bucharest 060101, Romania
Nicolae Simionescu Institute of Cellular Biology and Pathology, Bucharest, Romania
Nanobiophotonics, Nanophysics Department, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Via Morego 30, Genoa 16163, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jean Jacques Vanden Eynde
Received: 20 April 2016 / Revised: 27 June 2016 / Accepted: 1 July 2016 / Published: 7 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanobiotechnology in Medicinal Chemistry)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [5198 KB, uploaded 7 July 2016]   |  


Polylactic acid was combined with lemongrass essential oil (EO) to produce functional nanocapsules (NCs). The obtained polylactic acid nanoparticles showed antimicrobial activity both with and without the presence of lemongrass oil; however, the presence of EO improved the activity of the NCs. The presence of lemongrass assisted the formation of well-separated NCs and also provided enhanced antimicrobial properties, since lemongrass is known for its antimicrobial character. Fluorescence microscopy was used to optically observe the nanoparticles and NCs and revealed the attachment of lemongrass oil with the polylactic acid NCs. Dynamic light scattering was used to determine their size. UV absorption was used to determine the exact amount of lemongrass oil found in the polylactic acid—lemongrass oil NCs, which was important for understanding the minimum inhibitory concentration for the antimicrobial experiments. A series of clinically important microbial species were used in the study and the obtained NCs proved to have very good antimicrobial properties against all tested strains. Such NCs can be used for the design of ecological strategies, based on natural alternatives, which may be efficient against severe infections, including those that involve resistant pathogens and biofilms or those with difficult to reach localization. View Full-Text
Keywords: polylactic acid; lemongrass essential oil; antimicrobial nanocapsules; biofilms; infectious diseases polylactic acid; lemongrass essential oil; antimicrobial nanocapsules; biofilms; infectious diseases

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Liakos, I.L.; Grumezescu, A.M.; Holban, A.M.; Florin, I.; D’Autilia, F.; Carzino, R.; Bianchini, P.; Athanassiou, A. Polylactic Acid—Lemongrass Essential Oil Nanocapsules with Antimicrobial Properties. Pharmaceuticals 2016, 9, 42.

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