Nanodelivery of essential oils as efficient tools against antimicrobial resistance: a review of the type and physical-chemical properties of the delivery systems and applications

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This review provides a synthesis of the last ten years of research on nanodelivery systems used for the delivery of essential oils (EOs), as well as their potential as a viable alternative to antibiotics in human and veterinary therapy. The use of essential oils alone in therapy is not always possible due to several limitations but nanodelivery systems seem to be able to overcome these issues. The choice of the essential oil, as well as the choice of the nanodelivery system influences the therapeutic efficacy obtained. While several studies on the characterization of EOs exist, this review assesses the characteristics of the nanomaterials used for the delivery of essential oils, as well as impact on the functionality of nanodelivered essential oils, and successful applications. Two classes of delivery systems stand out: polymeric nanoparticles (NPs) including chitosan, cellulose, zein, sodium alginate, and poly(lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA), and lipidic NPs including nanostructured lipid carriers, solid lipid NPs, nanoemulsions, liposomes, and niosomes. While the advantages and disadvantages of these delivery systems and information on stability, release, and efficacy of the nanodelivered EOs are covered in the literature as presented in this review, essential information, such as the speed of emergence of a potential bacteria resistance to these new systems, or dosages for each type of infection and for each animal species or humans is still missing today. Therefore, more quantitative and studies should be conducted before the adoption of EOs loaded NPs as an alternative to antibiotics, where appropriate.

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Drug delivery

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