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Polymers 2012, 4(1), 539-560; doi:10.3390/polym4010539

Antimicrobial Peptides: Multifunctional Drugs for Different Applications

1,* , 1
1 Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, RWTH Aachen University, D-52074 Aachen, Germany 2 Department of Trauma Surgery, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, D-24105, Germany These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 December 2011 / Revised: 9 February 2012 / Accepted: 10 February 2012 / Published: 16 February 2012
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Antimicrobial peptides (APs) are an important part of the innate immune system in epithelial and non-epithelial surfaces. So far, many different antimicrobial peptides from various families have been discovered in non-vertebrates and vertebrates. They are characterized by antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral activities against a variety of microorganisms. In addition to their role as endogenous antimicrobials, APs participate in multiple aspects of immunity. They are involved in septic and non-septic inflammation, wound repair, angiogenesis, regulation of the adaptive immune system and in maintaining homeostasis. Due to those characteristics AP could play an important role in many practical applications. Limited therapeutic efficiency of current antimicrobial agents and the emerging resistance of pathogens require alternate antimicrobial drugs. The purpose of this review is to highlight recent literature on functions and mechanisms of APs. It also shows their current practical applications as peptide therapeutics and bioactive polymers and discusses the possibilities of future clinical developments.
Keywords: antimicrobial peptide; innate immunity; infection; therapeutics; inflammation antimicrobial peptide; innate immunity; infection; therapeutics; inflammation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Brandenburg, L.-O.; Merres, J.; Albrecht, L.-J.; Varoga, D.; Pufe, T. Antimicrobial Peptides: Multifunctional Drugs for Different Applications. Polymers 2012, 4, 539-560.

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