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Metal-Based Nanoparticles as Antimicrobial Agents: An Overview

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Department of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Technology and Physical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
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Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (IN2UB), University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
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Networking Research Centre of Neurodegenerative Disease (CIBERNED), Instituto de Salud Juan Carlos III, 28031 Madrid, Spain
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Faculty of Pharmacy (FFUC), Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, University of Coimbra, Pólo das Ciências da Saúde, Azinhaga de Santa Comba, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal
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Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutic Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
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Department of Biology and Environment, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, UTAD, Quinta de Prados, P-5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
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Centre for Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences, CITAB, UTAD, Quinta de Prados, P-5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
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CREA—Research Centre for Food and Nutrition, Via Ardeatina 546, 00178 Rome, Italy
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Department of Pharmacy, University of Napoli Federico II, Via D. Montesano 49, 80131 Napoli, Italy
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CEB—Centre of Biological Engineering, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(2), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10020292
Received: 24 November 2019 / Revised: 27 January 2020 / Accepted: 29 January 2020 / Published: 9 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue NanoBioMedicine)
Metal-based nanoparticles have been extensively investigated for a set of biomedical applications. According to the World Health Organization, in addition to their reduced size and selectivity for bacteria, metal-based nanoparticles have also proved to be effective against pathogens listed as a priority. Metal-based nanoparticles are known to have non-specific bacterial toxicity mechanisms (they do not bind to a specific receptor in the bacterial cell) which not only makes the development of resistance by bacteria difficult, but also broadens the spectrum of antibacterial activity. As a result, a large majority of metal-based nanoparticles efficacy studies performed so far have shown promising results in both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The aim of this review has been a comprehensive discussion of the state of the art on the use of the most relevant types of metal nanoparticles employed as antimicrobial agents. A special emphasis to silver nanoparticles is given, while others (e.g., gold, zinc oxide, copper, and copper oxide nanoparticles) commonly used in antibiotherapy are also reviewed. The novelty of this review relies on the comparative discussion of the different types of metal nanoparticles, their production methods, physicochemical characterization, and pharmacokinetics together with the toxicological risk encountered with the use of different types of nanoparticles as antimicrobial agents. Their added-value in the development of alternative, more effective antibiotics against multi-resistant Gram-negative bacteria has been highlighted.
Keywords: antibacterial activity; metal-based nanoparticles; AgNPs; CuONPs; AuNPs; ZnONPs antibacterial activity; metal-based nanoparticles; AgNPs; CuONPs; AuNPs; ZnONPs
MDPI and ACS Style

Sánchez-López, E.; Gomes, D.; Esteruelas, G.; Bonilla, L.; Lopez-Machado, A.L.; Galindo, R.; Cano, A.; Espina, M.; Ettcheto, M.; Camins, A.; Silva, A.M.; Durazzo, A.; Santini, A.; Garcia, M.L.; Souto, E.B. Metal-Based Nanoparticles as Antimicrobial Agents: An Overview. Nanomaterials 2020, 10, 292.

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