Beer yeast-derived fluorescent carbon dots for photoinduced bactericidal functions and multicolor imaging of bacteria

  • Zhe Gao
  • Chun-xi Zhao
  • Yan-yan Li
  • Ya-ling YangEmail author
Environmental biotechnology


Beer yeast-modified fluorescent carbon dots were synthesized via a one-step strategy for photoinduced bactericidal functions and bio-imaging in bacterial viability assessment. The proposed carbon dots (CDs) were used as an visible light-triggered antibacterial material, and the antimicrobial activities of the CDs against Gram-negative model bacterial species (Escherichia coli) were evaluated under conditions of varying other experimental parameters including CDs concentrations and treatment times. The result showed that the CDs have excellent antibacterial performance of bactericidal effect within 120 min of under visible-light irradiation. And the bactericidal efficiency increased with the increasing concentration of CDs and visible-light illumination time. Moreover, the CDs with high quantum yield (21%) possess highly negative zeta potential (− 41.7 mV) and low cytotoxicity, the CDs could serve as an efficient dye for bacterial viability evaluation, they could selectively stain dead E. coli rather than live ones, which make dead E. coli be viewed with multicolor fluorescence under different excitation wavelengths.


Carbon dots Antibacterial Bio-imaging Escherichia coli Multicolor fluorescence 


Funding information

The work was strongly supported by the Analysis and Testing Foundation of Kunming University of Science and Technology (2018M20172118081).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

253_2019_9782_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (304 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 304 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Life Science and TechnologyKunming University of Science and TechnologyKunmingChina

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