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Improving the Antimicrobial Power of Low‐Effective Antimicrobial Molecules Through Nanotechnology

Ruiz‐Rico, María, Pérez‐Esteve, Édgar, de la Torre, Cristina, Jiménez‐Belenguer, Ana I., Quiles, Amparo, Marcos, María D., Martínez‐Máñez, Ramón, Barat, José M.
Journal of food science 2018 v.83 no.8 pp. 2140-2147
Listeria monocytogenes, anti-infective agents, antibacterial properties, bacteria, cell membranes, food matrix, mechanism of action, nanoparticles, polyamines, porous media, preservatives, shelf life, silica, sodium chloride
The objective of this work was on the one hand to assess the antibacterial activity of amines anchored to the external surface of mesoporous silica particles against Listeria monocytogenes in comparison with the same dose of free amines as well. It was also our aim to elucidate the mechanism of action of the new antimicrobial device. The suitability of silica nanoparticles to anchor, concentrate and improve the antimicrobial power of polyamines against L. monocytogenes has been demonstrated in a saline solution and in a food matrix. Moreover, through microscope observations it has been possible to determine that the attractive binding forces between the positive amine corona on the surface of nanoparticles and the negatively charged bacteria membrane provoke a disruption of the cell membrane. The surface concentration of amines on the surface of the nanoparticles is so effective that immobilized‐amines were 100 times more effective in killing L. monocytogenes bacteria than the same amount of free polyamines. This novel approach for the creation of antimicrobial nanodevices opens the possibility to put in value the antimicrobial power of natural molecules that have been discarded because of its low antimicrobial power. PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Consumers demand for high‐quality products, free from chemical preservatives, with an extended shelf‐life. In this study, a really powerful antimicrobial agent based on a nanomaterial functionalized with a non‐antimicrobial organic molecule was developed as a proof of concept. Following this approach it could be possible to develop a new generation of natural and removable antimicrobials based on their anchoring to functional surfaces for food, agricultural or medical purposes.