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Antibacterial property and mechanism of a novel Pu-erh tea nanofibrous membrane


Pu-erh tea is made via a natural fermentation process. In this study, Pu-erh tea was used as a raw material for nanomaterials preparation and as an antibacterial agent. Antibacterial activities on Escherichia coli of Pu-erh tea, Pu-erh tea powder (PTP) of different sizes, and Pu-erh tea residual powder were firstly determined, respectively. With polyvinyl alcohol as the carrier, through an electrospinning technique, different kinds of nanofibrous membranes were obtained from the extract of Pu-erh tea and nano-PTP (NPTP), and their antibacterial properties and mechanism against E. coli were evaluated. The results showed better antibacterial activity with smaller PTP particles, the nano-sized particles had the best effects, and the MIC of NPTP was 13.5 mg/mL. When NPTP was in nanofibrous membranes, the antibacterial activity decreased slightly, but increased with modification by ZnO. Pu-erh tea in nanofibrous membranes damaged the E. coli cell membranes and caused leakage of K+ and enzymes. What is more is that damage of the cell walls led to the leakage of fluorescent proteins from enhanced green fluorescence protein-expressing E. coli. These results indicate that the Pu-erh tea nanofibrous membranes had good antibacterial activities against E. coli, which may provide a promising application of novel antibacterial materials.

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 20976138), the Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai (no. 09ZR1434500), the Ministry of Agriculture of China (no. 2009ZX08009-37B), and the Shanghai Key Laboratory of Molecular Catalysis and Innovative Materials (no. 2010MCIMKF03).

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Correspondence to Ping Li.

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Su, Y., Zhang, C., Wang, Y. et al. Antibacterial property and mechanism of a novel Pu-erh tea nanofibrous membrane. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 93, 1663–1671 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-011-3501-2

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  • Antibacterial
  • Pu-erh tea
  • Nanofibrous membrane