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Metal-Based Nanoparticles as Antimicrobial Agents: An Overview

Department of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Technology and Physical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (IN2UB), University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Networking Research Centre of Neurodegenerative Disease (CIBERNED), Instituto de Salud Juan Carlos III, 28031 Madrid, Spain
Faculty of Pharmacy (FFUC), Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, University of Coimbra, Pólo das Ciências da Saúde, Azinhaga de Santa Comba, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal
Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutic Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Barcelona, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Department of Biology and Environment, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, UTAD, Quinta de Prados, P-5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
Centre for Research and Technology of Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences, CITAB, UTAD, Quinta de Prados, P-5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
CREA—Research Centre for Food and Nutrition, Via Ardeatina 546, 00178 Rome, Italy
Department of Pharmacy, University of Napoli Federico II, Via D. Montesano 49, 80131 Napoli, Italy
CEB—Centre of Biological Engineering, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(2), 292;
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: antibacterial activity; metal-based nanoparticles; AgNPs; CuONPs; AuNPs; ZnONPs antibacterial activity; metal-based nanoparticles; AgNPs; CuONPs; AuNPs; ZnONPs
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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.

AMA Style

Sánchez-López E, Gomes D, Esteruelas G, Bonilla L, Lopez-Machado AL, Galindo R, Cano A, Espina M, Ettcheto M, Camins A, Silva AM, Durazzo A, Santini A, Garcia ML, Souto EB. Metal-Based Nanoparticles as Antimicrobial Agents: An Overview. Nanomaterials. 2020; 10(2):292.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sánchez-López, Elena, Daniela Gomes, Gerard Esteruelas, Lorena Bonilla, Ana Laura Lopez-Machado, Ruth Galindo, Amanda Cano, Marta Espina, Miren Ettcheto, Antoni Camins, Amélia M. Silva, Alessandra Durazzo, Antonello Santini, Maria L. Garcia, and Eliana B. Souto. 2020. "Metal-Based Nanoparticles as Antimicrobial Agents: An Overview" Nanomaterials 10, no. 2: 292.

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