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

Abstract

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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Acknowledgments

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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Keywords

  • Antibacterial
  • Pu-erh tea
  • Nanofibrous membrane