Design of nanoengineered antibacterial polymers for biomedical applications
Pathogenic bacteria have become global threats to public health. Since the advent of antibiotics about 100 years ago, their use has been embraced with great enthusiasm because of their effective treatment of bacterial infections. However, the evolution of pathogenic bacteria with resistance to conventional antibiotics has resulted in an urgent need for the development of a new generation of antibiotics. The use of antimicrobial polymers offers the promise of enhancing the efficacy of antimicrobial agents. Of the various antibacterial polymers that effectively eradicate pathogenic bacteria, those that are nanoengineered have garnered significant research interest in their design and biomedical applications. Because of their high surface area and high reactivity, these polymers show greater antibacterial activity than conventional antibacterial agents, by inhibiting the growth or destroying the cell membrane of pathogenic bacteria. This review summarizes several strategies for designing nanoengineered antibacterial polymers, explores the factors that affect their antibacterial properties, and examines key features of their design. It then comments briefly on the future prospects for nanoengineered antibacterial polymers. This review thus provides a feasible guide to developing nanoengineered antibacterial polymers by presenting both broad and in-depth bench research, and it offers suggestions for their potential in biomedical applications.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Antibacterial Biomaterials