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. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms232214339