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Nanoscale. 2014 Mar 7;6(5):2588-93. doi: 10.1039/c3nr05422e. Epub 2014 Jan 27.

Ferromagnetic nanoparticles with peroxidase-like activity enhance the cleavage of biological macromolecules for biofilm elimination.

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Baker Institute for Animal Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.


Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a "green chemical" that has various cleaning and disinfectant uses, including as an anti-bacterial agent for hygienic and medical treatments. However, its efficacy is limited against biofilm-producing bacteria, because of poor penetration into the protective, organic matrix. Here we show new applications for ferromagnetic nanoparticles (Fe3O4, MNPs) with peroxidase-like activity in potentiating the efficacy of H2O2 in biofilm degradation and prevention. Our data show that MNPs enhanced oxidative cleavage of biofilm components (model nucleic acids, proteins, and oligosaccharides) in the presence of H2O2. When challenged with live, biofilm-producing bacteria, the MNP-H2O2 system efficiently broke down the existing biofilm and prevented new biofilms from forming, killing both planktonic bacteria and those within the biofilm. By enhancing oxidative cleavage of various substrates, the MNP-H2O2 system provides a novel strategy for biofilm elimination, and other applications utilizing oxidative breakdown.

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