Skip to main content

The role of nanoparticles (titanium dioxide, graphene oxide) on the inactivation of co-existing bacteria in the presence and absence of quartz sand


The increased mass production and application of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) have resulted in the release of nanoparticles (NPs) in the environment, raising uncertainties regarding their environmental impacts. This study examines the effect of graphene oxide (GO) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) NPs on the inactivation of the three model bacteria originated by mammalians including humans: Escherichia (E.) coli, Enterococcus (E.) faecalis, and Staphylococcus (S.) aureus. A series of dynamic batch experiments were conducted at constant room temperature (22 °C) in order to examine the inactivation of co-existing bacteria by NPs, in the presence and absence of quartz sand. The inactivation experimental data were satisfactorily fitted with a pseudo-first order expression with a time dependent rate coefficient. The inactivation of E. coli and S. aureus was shown to increase in the co-presence of GO or TiO2 NPs and quartz sand comparing with the presence of GO or TiO2 NPs alone. For E. faecalis, no clear trend was observed. Moreover, quartz sand was shown to affect inactivation of bacteria by GO and TiO2 NPs. Among the bacteria examined, the highest inactivation rates were observed for S. aureus.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

Data availability

Authors can confirm that all relevant data are included in the article.


Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



V.I.S.: conceptualization, methodology, formal analysis, writing—review & editing, funding acquisition, writing—original draft. K.I.K.: conceptualization, methodology, investigation. M.P.G.: conceptualization, data curation, formal analysis, writing—original draft. C.V.C.: resources, supervision, writing—review & editing.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Vasiliki I. Syngouna.

Ethics declarations

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Not applicable.

Consent for publication

Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Responsible Editor: Diane Purchase

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Syngouna, V.I., Kourtaki, K.I., Georgopoulou, M.P. et al. The role of nanoparticles (titanium dioxide, graphene oxide) on the inactivation of co-existing bacteria in the presence and absence of quartz sand. Environ Sci Pollut Res 29, 19199–19211 (2022).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Escherichia coli
  • Enterococcus faecalis
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Graphene oxide
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Inactivation