Polymer based nanoformulation of methylglyoxal as an antimicrobial agent: efficacy against resistant bacteria†
Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a severe health crisis across the globe and in the present scenario, nanoscale materials have emerged as efficient antimicrobial agents. Silver nanoparticles are well-established antibacterial agents but detrimental to eukaryotes through cytotoxicity and genotoxicity. An alternative bioactive normal metabolite, methylglyoxal (MG) possesses superior antimicrobial activity but instability in air and strong enzyme induced degradation limit its application. To circumvent this emerging problem, we have developed a green strategy of using multivalent, biodegradable polymers such as chitosan, and dendrimers for the facile preparation of conjugated nanoformulations (NMG & DMG) of methylglyoxal as an antimicrobial agent against resistant bacteria. Interestingly, nanoformulated methylglyoxal selectively interferes with the bacterial pathogens while remaining biocompatible to the mammalian cells as reflected in therapeutic index. The functional group, cationic charge and nanosize of methylglyoxal allows them to attach to and insert into membrane bilayers of bacteria and could be the defining mechanisms of antimicrobial activity. This scalable approach of the fabrication of biocompatible nanoformulated methylglyoxal with desired selectivity can revolutionize the treatment of bacterial infection, minimizing human health and environment risks.