Annals of Microbiology

, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 75–80 | Cite as

Investigations into the antibacterial behavior of copper nanoparticles against Escherichia coli

  • Muhammad RaffiEmail author
  • Saba Mehrwan
  • Tariq Mahmood Bhatti
  • Javed Iqbal Akhter
  • Abdul Hameed
  • Wasim Yawar
  • M. Masood ul Hasan
Original Article


Zerovalent copper nanoparticles (Cu0) of 12 nm size were synthesized using an inert gas condensation method in which bulk copper metal was evaporated into an inert environment of argon with subsequent cooling for nucleation and growth of nanoparticles. Crystalline structure, morphology and estimation of size of nanoparticles were carried out by X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. The antibacterial activity of these nanoparticles against the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli was assessed in liquid as well as solid growth media. It was observed from scanning electron microscopic analysis that the interaction of copper nanoparticles with E. coli resulted in the formation of cavities/pits in the bacterial cell wall. The antibacterial property of copper nanoparticles was attributed mainly to adhesion with bacteria because of their opposite electrical charges, resulting in a reduction reaction at the bacterial cell wall. Nanoparticles with a larger surface-to-volume ratio provide more efficient means for antibacterial activity.


Copper nanoparticle Antibacterial activity Escherichia coli X-ray diffraction Electron microscopy 



The authors express their sincere gratitude and gratefully acknowledge Prof. S. Ismat Shah, Sajid Mehmood, M. Yasin, Moazam Iqbal and Iqtidar Shakoor for their support and technical assistance. A partial financial grant provided by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan for this research work is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag and the University of Milan 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Raffi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Saba Mehrwan
    • 2
  • Tariq Mahmood Bhatti
    • 3
  • Javed Iqbal Akhter
    • 4
  • Abdul Hameed
    • 2
  • Wasim Yawar
    • 3
  • M. Masood ul Hasan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Materials EngineeringPakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS)IslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biological SciencesQuaid-i-Azam UniversityIslamabadPakistan
  3. 3.Central Analytical Facility DivisionPakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH)IslamabadPakistan
  4. 4.Physics DivisionPakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH)IslamabadPakistan

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