Researchers have discovered a way to package antimicrobial compounds from peppermint and cinnamon into capsules that can kill bacteria while actively promoting healing, according to results published in ACS Nano.
The new material could be used as a topical antibacterial treatment and disinfectant for chronic wounds, according to a press release.
Vincent M. Rotello, PhD, professor of chemistry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and colleagues wanted to address the challenge of translating the antibacterial activity of essential oils and other natural compounds into treatments. As such, they packaged peppermint oil and cinnamaldehyde, the compound supplying cinnamon with its flavor and aroma, into silica nanoparticles.
According to the release, the microcapsule treatment was shown to be effective on four types of bacteria, including one antibiotic-resistant strain. It also promoted the growth of fiberblasts, a type of cells that are an important component in wound healing.
Reference: Duncan B, et al. ACS Nano. 2015;doi:10.1021/acsnano.5b01696.