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Polyglycerol Adipate-Grafted Polycaprolactone Nanoparticles as Carriers for the Antimicrobial Compound Usnic Acid

Taresco, Vincenzo; Tulini, Isotta; Francolini, Iolanda; Piozzi, Antonella


Isotta Tulini

Iolanda Francolini

Antonella Piozzi


Nanoparticle (NP) drug delivery systems are known to potentially enhance the efficacy of therapeutic agents. As for antimicrobial drugs, therapeutic solutions against drug-resistant microbes are urgently needed due to the worldwide antimicrobial resistance issue. Usnic acid is a widely investigated antimicrobial agent suffering from poor water solubility. In this study, polymer nanoparticles based on polyglycerol adipate (PGA) grafted with polycaprolactone (PCL) were developed as carriers for usnic acid. We demonstrated the potential of the developed systems in ensuring prolonged bactericidal activity against a model bacterial species, Staphylococcus epidermidis. The macromolecular architecture changes produced by PCL grafted from PGA significantly influenced the drug release profile and mechanism. Specifically, by varying the length of PCL arms linked to the PGA backbone, it was possible to tune the drug release from a burst anomalous drug release (high PCL chain length) to a slow diffusion-controlled release (low PCL chain length). The developed nanosystems showed a prolonged antimicrobial activity (up to at least 7 days) which could be used in preventing/treating infections occurring at different body sites, including medical device-related infection and mucosal/skin surface, where Gram-positive bacteria are commonly involved.


Taresco, V., Tulini, I., Francolini, I., & Piozzi, A. (2022). Polyglycerol Adipate-Grafted Polycaprolactone Nanoparticles as Carriers for the Antimicrobial Compound Usnic Acid. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 23(22), Article 14339.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 16, 2022
Online Publication Date Nov 18, 2022
Publication Date Nov 2, 2022
Deposit Date Nov 27, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 7, 2022
Journal International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Print ISSN 1661-6596
Electronic ISSN 1422-0067
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 22
Article Number 14339
Keywords Inorganic Chemistry; Organic Chemistry; Physical and Theoretical Chemistry; Computer Science Applications; Spectroscopy; Molecular Biology; General Medicine; Catalysis
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