Exploitation of antimicrobial nanoparticles and their applications in biomedical engineering
Cheong, Yuen Ki
Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health which contributes largely to increased mortality rates and costs in hospitals. The severe and wide spread of antibiotic resistance results in limited treatment to effectively combat antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Nanoparticles have different or enhanced properties in contrast to their bulk material, including antimicrobial efficacy towards a broad range of microorganisms. Their beneficial properties can be utilised in various bioengineering technologies, thus antimicrobial nanoparticles may provide an alternative to challenge antibiotic resistance. Currently nanoparticles have been incorporated into materials, such as fibres, glass and paints. However, more research is required to fully elucidate the mechanisms of action and to further advance for biomedical applications. This paper reviews the antimicrobial efficacies and the intrinsic properties of different metallic nanoparticles; their potential mechanisms of action against certain types of harmful pathogens and how these properties may be utilised in biomedical and healthcare products with aims to reduce cross contaminations, disease transmissions and usage of antibiotics.