Nanostructured materials require evaluation at a molecular level to become controllable and useful in drug and vaccine delivery. Over the years self-assembled nanomaterials such as nanoparticles and thin films have been prepared, characterized and used for biomedical applications. In this review meaningful examples of biomimetic nanomaterials and their construction based on intermolecular interactions such as the electrostatic attraction or the hydrophobic effect will be discussed. Emphasis will be placed on the interactions between polymers, lipids, surfactants and surfaces leading to bioactive supramolecular assemblies such as nanoparticles and coatings. Among the important applications of the self-assembled nanostructures and films to be reviewed are their antimicrobial effect and their adjuvant activity for vaccine delivery.
Part of the book: Surfactants and Detergents