Nanoemulsions of plant-based bioactive compounds with antimicrobial applications: a review




Antimicrobian activity, Nanoparticles, Alternative products


The search for alternative antimicrobial agents is attracting increasing scientific interest. Natural products of plant origin are sources of several substances with proven biological activities, including antimicrobial activity. The encapsulation of these products in the form of a nanoemulsion seeks to overcome problems inherent to these products, such as instability and degradation. Based on these considerations, we carried out a bibliographical survey of nanoemulsions produced from plant-derived substances, such as essential oils and extracts, with antimicrobial potential, focusing on antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activities. Articles and documents published in scientifically relevant journals, as well as keywords classified from Health Sciences Descriptors, were used. All documents relevant to this search reported that nanoemulsions loaded with essential oils and plant extracts from different botanical species had in vitro antimicrobial activity against different microorganisms of medical importance, in addition to enhancing the antimicrobial effects of these bioproducts. Therefore, nanostructured antimicrobials with essential oils and plant extracts can be considered treatment options for microbial diseases: due to their physicochemical properties, they act as better delivery vehicles for natural products with good bioavailability, by reducing toxicity and prolonging the useful life of these natural antimicrobials, thus enhancing treatment for infectious human diseases.


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Author Biographies

Júlio César Sousa Prado, Universidade Federal do Ceará

Biologist, Master's student in Health Sciences at the Federal University of Ceará (UFC).

Guilherme Mendes Prado, Universidade Federal do Ceará

Pharmacist, Master in Health Sciences from the Federal University of Ceará (UFC).

Francisca Lidiane Linhares Aguiar, Universidade Federal do Ceará

Biologist, Dra. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Federal University of Ceará (UFC).

Andrea Maria Neves, Universidade Estadual do Ceará

Biologist, PhD in Biotechnology from the State University of Ceará (UECE).

Joice Farias do Nascimento, Universidade Estadual do Ceará

Chemistry, Master's student in Natural Sciences at the State University of Ceará (UECE).

Flávia Oliveira Monteiro da Silva Abreu, Universidade Estadual do Ceará

Dra. in Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering. Professor at the State University of Ceará (UECE).

Raquel Oliveira dos Santos Fontenelle, State University of Vale do Acaraú

Dra. in Veterinary Sciences. Professor at the State University Vale do Acaraú (UVA), State University of Ceará (UECE) and Federal University of Ceará (UFC).


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How to Cite

Prado, J. C. S., Prado, G. M., Aguiar, F. L. L., Neves, A. M., Nascimento, J. F. do, Abreu, F. O. M. da S., & Fontenelle, R. O. dos S. (2024). Nanoemulsions of plant-based bioactive compounds with antimicrobial applications: a review. Ciência E Natura, 46, e74325.