Preliminary investigations on the antibacterial activity of zinc oxide nanostructures

  • Meghana Ramani
  • S. Ponnusamy
  • C. Muthamizhchelvan
Research Paper


In this study, we present a systematic investigation on the evolution of nanorods of diameter 35–40 nm and 1–2 μm length from nanoparticles of diameter 30–35 nm by varying the concentration of 2,6-lutidine which acts as a shape-directing agent in the synthesis process. This variation in morphology was studied using transmission electron microscopy. The surface capping agent was subsequently removed by heating during the synthesis process and confirmed using Fourier Transform Infra-red spectroscopy. Sufficient quantity of surface defects in the form of oxygen vacancies was observed from the photoluminescence analysis of the synthesized nanostructures. The concentration of defects decreased as the shape transits from nanoparticles to nanorods. The synthesized samples were preliminarily studied for their antibacterial activity against four model (gram-positive and gram-negative) pathogens by disk diffusion method and growth curve analysis. The calculated generation time indicates higher activity for nanoparticles than nanorods. However, the difference in the activity against different pathogens and their dependence on the concentration of defects indicate oxidative stress in addition to mechanical membrane damage as the major toxicity mechanism. Overall, the experimental findings are preliminary evidence supporting the possibility of developing zinc oxide nanostructures as antibacterial agents against a wide range of microorganisms to control and prevent the spreading of bacterial infections.


Zinc oxide Antibacterial activity Shape-dependent Reactive oxygen species 



The authors thank Mrs. Sankari, Head, Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Science and Humanities, SRM University, for providing the necessary facilities to carry out the biological experiments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meghana Ramani
    • 1
  • S. Ponnusamy
    • 1
  • C. Muthamizhchelvan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsCenter for Materials Science and Nano Devices, SRM UniversityChennaiIndia

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