Research Paper

Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 1625-1636

Mechanistic investigation into antibacterial behaviour of suspensions of ZnO nanoparticles against E. coli

  • Lingling ZhangAffiliated withSchool of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Science and Technology
  • , Yunhong JiangAffiliated withInstitute of Particle Science & Engineering, University of Leeds
  • , Yulong DingAffiliated withInstitute of Particle Science & Engineering, University of Leeds Email author 
  • , Nikolaos DaskalakisAffiliated withSchool of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leeds
  • , Lars JeukenAffiliated withSchool of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leeds
  • , Malcolm PoveyAffiliated withProcter Department of Food Science, University of Leeds
  • , Alex J. O’NeillAffiliated withFaculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds
  • , David W. YorkAffiliated withProcter and Gamble Newcastle Technical Centre

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Abstract

Aqueous suspensions containing 4.45 × 10−5 − 1.25 × 10−3 M ZnO particles exhibit a strong antibacterial activity against E. coli under the dark conditions. The dominant mechanisms of such antibacterial behaviour are found to be either or both of chemical interactions between hydrogen peroxide and membrane proteins, and chemical interactions between other unknown chemical species generated due to the presence of ZnO particles with the lipid bilayer. The effect of direct physical interactions between nanoparticles and biological cells are found to play a relatively small role under the conditions of this study.

Keywords

ZnO nanoparticles E. coli Toxicity Antibacterial Mechanism Lipid vesicles EHS