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Bio-Based Material for Drug Delivery and Iron Chelation with Antimicrobial Activity
1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 3 , 1 , * 1
1  Dipartimento di Scienze del Farmaco e della Salute, Università di Catania
2  Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, University of Catania
3  Biometec, University of Catania
4  Centro nazionale delle ricerche
Academic Editor: Alfredo Berzal-Herranz (registering DOI)

The impending growth of antimicrobial resistance has pushed research to explore alternative antibacterial strategies, including the use of metal-chelating agents since they can reduce the availability of essential metals for biological reactions and inhibit the biological function of metal-dependent proteins. Curiously, chelating medications also boost the efficiency of conventional antibacterials as well. In recent years, the focus has shifted to nanomaterials to improve the efficacy of medication delivery because they offer greater potential for penetration and retention in tissue. An interesting example is the halloysite, natural clay nanotubes consisting of close layers of alumina and silica, that has shown several advantages: the production process is not dangerous, it is less costly than other nanotubes, and it has advantageous features for drug delivery carrier applications. In this communication, we report the modification of halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) to produce a dual-acting material for drug delivery and iron chelation properties with antimicrobial activity. The structure of HNTs was modified with a derivative of Kojic acid. HNTs-kojic acid was characterized by several techniques: IR, ICP/MS, SEM, and EDX, and the drug delivery capabilities were proven by drug‐loading UV experiments with resveratrol and curcumin. Studies evaluating drug load capacity and encapsulation efficiency have shown that curcumin was characterized by slower kinetics compared to resveratrol, attributable to the different solubility of the two drugs. Moreover, the results of the antibacterial evaluation conducted on this new formulation because it has been proven that it exhibited antibacterial activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria at low concentrations. This suggests that the iron chelation action of the nanotubes is exceptionally efficient. These results open the way for additional investigation and the use of the designed material in treating cancer and other diseases with infections.

Keywords: resveratrol; curcumin; halloysite nanotubes; kojic acid; iron chelation; antibacterial