Engineering ε-Polylysine hydrochloride for enhanced antimicrobial efficacy.


Antimicrobial resistance is a pressing global health challenge, necessitating the development of new antimicrobial agents with enhanced efficacy and safety profiles. ε-Polylysine hydrochloride (ε-PL) has emerged as a promising candidate due to its natural origin, low toxicity, and broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. However, to maximize its potential as an antimicrobial agent, researchers have focused on engineering strategies to enhance its efficacy while maintaining its desirable properties.

1. Engineering Strategies for Enhancing ε-Polylysine Hydrochloride:

Chemical modifications: Structural modifications of ε-PL, such as derivatization, conjugation with other molecules, or incorporation of functional groups, can enhance its antimicrobial activity, stability, and bioavailability.
Nanoparticle formulations: ε-PL nanoparticles offer advantages such as controlled release, improved stability, and enhanced penetration into microbial cells, leading to increased antimicrobial efficacy.
Combination therapies: Synergistic combinations of ε-PL with other antimicrobial agents, such as antibiotics, essential oils, or metal nanoparticles, can potentiate its antimicrobial activity and overcome resistance mechanisms.
2. Applications of Engineered ε-Polylysine Hydrochloride:

Food preservation: Engineered ε-PL formulations have applications in food preservation, extending the shelf-life of perishable foods and reducing the risk of foodborne pathogens.
Biomedical devices: Coating biomedical devices with engineered ε-PL can prevent biofilm formation, reduce the risk of device-associated infections, and enhance the longevity of implantable devices.
Pharmaceuticals: Engineered ε-PL can be incorporated into pharmaceutical formulations for topical or systemic administration, offering an effective treatment option for infections caused by multidrug-resistant pathogens.
3. Regulatory Considerations:

Safety assessment: ε-Polylysine hydrochloride has been evaluated for safety by regulatory agencies, and engineered derivatives must undergo rigorous testing to ensure their safety for intended applications.
Regulatory approvals: Regulatory approval processes vary depending on the intended use of engineered ε-PL products, requiring compliance with applicable standards and guidelines for food additives, medical devices, or pharmaceuticals.
4. Future Directions and Challenges:

Optimization of formulations: Continued research is needed to optimize the formulation and delivery of engineered ε-PL for specific applications, considering factors such as stability, biocompatibility, and targeted delivery.
Scale-up and commercialization: Challenges related to scalability, cost-effectiveness, and regulatory compliance must be addressed to facilitate the commercialization of engineered ε-PL products.
Addressing resistance: Strategies to mitigate the development of resistance to ε-PL and combination therapies should be explored to ensure its long-term effectiveness as an antimicrobial agent.
Engineering ε-polylysine hydrochloride represents a promising approach for enhancing its antimicrobial efficacy and expanding its applications in various fields, including food preservation, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals. By leveraging chemical modifications, nanoparticle formulations, and combination therapies, engineered ε-PL offers a versatile and effective solution for combating antimicrobial resistance and improving public health outcomes. Continued research, regulatory support, and industry collaboration are essential for realizing the full potential of engineered ε-PL in addressing global antimicrobial challenges.