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Nanotechnology. 2012 Dec 14;23(49):495101. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/23/49/495101. Epub 2012 Nov 13.

Antibacterial effect of zinc oxide nanoparticles combined with ultrasound.

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Laboratory for Nanomedicine Research, School of Engineering, Brown University, Providence, RI 02917, USA.


Using Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), the present study investigated the antibacterial effect of ZnO nanoparticles both in the absence and presence of ultrasound stimulation. While the antibacterial effect of control nanoparticle chemistries (Al(2)O(3)) alone was either weak or unobservable under the conditions tested, the antibacterial effect of ZnO alone was significant, providing over a four log reduction (equivalent to antibiotics) compared to no treatment after just 8 h. The antibacterial effect was enhanced as ZnO particle diameter decreased. Specifically, when testing the antibacterial effect against bacteria populations relevant to infection, a 500 μg ml(-1) dose of zinc oxide nanoparticles with a diameter of 20 nm reduced S. aureus populations by four orders of magnitude after 8 and 24 h, compared to control groups with no nanoparticles. This was accomplished without the use of antibiotics, to which bacteria are developing a resistance anyway. The addition of ultrasound stimulation further reduced the number of viable colony-forming units present in a planktonic cell suspension by 76% compared to nanoparticles alone. Lastly, this study provided a mechanism for how ZnO nanoparticles in the presence of ultrasound decrease bacteria functions by demonstrating greater hydrogen peroxide generation by S. aureus compared to controls. These results indicated that small-diameter ZnO nanoparticles exhibited strong antibacterial properties that can be additionally enhanced in the presence of ultrasound and, thus, should be further studied for a wide range of medical device anti-infection applications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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