Bioact Mater. 2021 Oct;6(10):3207-3217. doi: 10.1016/j.bioactmat.2021.02.038. Epub 2021 Mar 11.
Enveloped viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 frequently have a highly infectious nature and are considered effective natural delivery systems exhibiting high efficiency and specificity. Since simultaneously enhancing the activity and selectivity of lipopeptides is a seemingly unsolvable problem for conventional chemistry and pharmaceutical approaches, we present a biomimetic strategy to construct lipopeptide-based mimics of viral architectures and infections to enhance their antimicrobial efficacy while avoiding side effects. Herein, a surface-nanoengineered antimicrobial liposome (SNAL) is developed with the morphological features of enveloped viruses, including a moderate size range, lipid-based membrane structure, and highly lipopeptide-enriched bilayer surface. The SNAL possesses virus-like infection to bacterial cells, which can mediate high-efficiency and high-selectivity bacteria binding, rapidly attack and invade bacteria via plasma membrane fusion pathway, and induce a local "burst" release of lipopeptide to produce irreversible damage of cell membrane. Remarkably, viral mimics are effective against multiple pathogens with low minimum inhibitory concentrations (1.6-6.3 μg mL-1), high bactericidal efficiency of >99% within 2 h, >10-fold enhanced selectivity over free lipopeptide, 99.8% reduction in skin MRSA load after a single treatment, and negligible toxicity. This bioinspired design has significant potential to enhance the therapeutic efficacy of lipopeptides and may create new opportunities for designing next-generation antimicrobials.