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ACS Nano. 2010 Jul 27;4(7):3993-4000. doi: 10.1021/nn100932t.

Antistaphylococcal nanocomposite films based on enzyme-nanotube conjugates.

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Howard P. Isermann Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180, USA.


Infection with antibiotic-resistant pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the primary causes of hospitalizations and deaths. To address this issue, we have designed antimicrobial coatings incorporating carbon nanotube-enzyme conjugates that are highly effective against antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Specifically, we incorporated conjugates of carbon nanotubes with lysostaphin, a cell wall degrading enzyme, into films to impart bactericidal properties against Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. We fabricated and characterized nanocomposites containing different conjugate formulations and enzyme loadings. These enzyme-based composites were highly efficient in killing MRSA (>99% within 2 h) without release of the enzyme into solution. Additionally, these films were reusable and stable under dry storage conditions for a month. Such enzyme-based film formulations may be used to prevent growth of pathogenic and antibiotic-resistant microorganisms on various common surfaces in hospital settings. Polymer and paint films containing such antimicrobial conjugates, in particular, could be advantageous to prevent risk of staphylococcal-specific infection and biofouling.

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