, Volume 19, Issue 9, pp 3057-3062
Date: 05 Apr 2008

Study on antibacterial mechanism of copper-bearing austenitic antibacterial stainless steel by atomic force microscopy

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Abstract

A study was made on the antibacterial mechanism of copper-bearing austenitic antibacterial stainless steel by a series of methods such as atomic force microscopy (AFM) observation, force–distance curves and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer test. It was observed by AFM that the structure of the outer cell membrane responsible for the cell permeability was substantially changed for the bacteria after contacting with the antibacterial stainless steel, showing that cell walls were seriously damaged and a lot of contents in the cells leaked. It was also found that the adhesion force of bacteria to antibacterial stainless steel was considerably greater than that to the contrast steel, indicating that the electrostatic forces by Cu2+ being an important factor for killing bacteria.