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Biofouling. 2010 Oct;26(7):851-8. doi: 10.1080/08927014.2010.527000.

Antibacterial properties of nine pure metals: a laboratory study using Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.

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Faculty of Education and Graduate Studies, Akita University, Akita City, Japan.


Bacterial attachment and growth on material surfaces are considered to be the primary steps leading to the formation of biofilm. Biofilms in hospital and food processing settings can result in bacterial infection and food contamination, respectively. Prevention of bacterial attachment, therefore, is considered to be the best strategy for abating these menaces and therefore the development of antibacterial metals becomes important. In this study, nine pure metals, viz. titanium, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, zirconium, molybdenum, tin, and lead have been tested for their antibacterial properties against two bacterial strains, Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus and Gram-negative Escherichia coli. This was accomplished using two assay methods, the film contact method and the shaking flask method. The results show that the antibacterial properties varied significantly with different metals and the effectiveness of metals to resist bacterial attachment varied with the bacterial strain. Among the metals tested, titanium and tin did not exhibit antibacterial properties. TEM images showed that metal accumulation resulted in the disruption of the bacterial cell wall and other cellular components.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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