Nanoemulsion delivery systems for enhanced efficacy of antimicrobials and essential oils

Celine R. Garcia, Muhammad H. Malik, Sujit Biswas, Vincent H. Tam, Kendra P. Rumbaugh, Wei Li, Xinli Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The ever-growing threat of new and existing infectious diseases in combination with antimicrobial resistance requires the need for innovative and effective forms of drug delivery. Optimal drug delivery systems for existing and newly developed antimicrobials can enhance drug bioavailability, enable site-specific drug targeting, and overcome current limitations of drug formulations such as short elimination half-lives, poor drug solubility, and undesirable side effects. Nanoemulsions (NE) consist of nanometer-sized droplets stabilized by emulsifiers and are typically more stable and permeable due to their smaller particle sizes and higher surface area compared to conventional emulsions. NE have been identified as a promising means of antimicrobial delivery due to their intrinsic antimicrobial properties, ability to increase drug solubility, stability, bioavailability, organ and cellular targeting potentials, capability of targeting biofilms, and potential to overcome antimicrobial resistance. Herein, we discuss non-drug loaded essential oil-based NE that can confer antimicrobial actions through predominantly physical or biochemical mechanisms without drug payloads. We also describe drug-loaded NE for enhanced antimicrobial efficacy by augmenting the potency of existing antimicrobials. We highlight the versatility of NE to be administered through multiple different routes (oral, parenteral, dermal, transdermal, pulmonary, nasal, ocular, and rectal). We summarize recent advances in the clinical translation of antimicrobial NE and shed light on future development of effective antimicrobial therapy to combat infectious diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-653
Number of pages21
JournalBiomaterials Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 7 2022


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