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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 Aug 1;10(30):25026-25036. doi: 10.1021/acsami.8b04932. Epub 2018 Jul 19.

Mechanistic Insight into the Light-Irradiated Carbon Capsules as an Antibacterial Agent.

Wu Q1, Wei G1, Xu Z1, Han J1, Xi J1,2, Fan L3, Gao L1.

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Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Translational Medicine, School of Medicine , Yangzhou University , Yangzhou 225001 , Jiangsu , China.
Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine for Prevention and Treatment of Senile Diseases , Yangzhou 225001 , Jiangsu , China.
School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering , Yangzhou University , Yangzhou 225002 , Jiangsu , China.


Infections caused by bacteria are a growing global challenge for public health as bacteria develop resistance, which will cause the failure of anti-infective treatment eventually. An effective alternative strategy to traditional antibacterial therapy is utilizing reactive oxygen species (ROS) to kill bacteria. Here, we report a simple route to prepare PEGylated nitrogen-doped carbon capsules (PEG-N-CCs) as an antibacterial agent. The PEG-N-CCs can translate near-infrared light (NIR) into heat and produce a high concentration of ROS triggered by NIR irradiation. Both heating and ROS are critical to destroy the outer membranes and rupture cell bodies, causing DNA fragmentation and glutathione oxidation both in Gram-negative Escherichia coli, Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus, and their multidrug-resistant strains. Moreover, PEG-N-CCs plus NIR irradiation can efficiently scavenge the existing biofilms and prevent the formation of new biofilms, killing planktonic bacteria as well as those within the biofilm. Our studies prove that the PEG-N-CCs plus NIR irradiation can provide a simple and effective platform for combating bacteria, employing carbon nanomaterials as an antibacterial alternative for treatment of infectious diseases.


NIR irradiation; ROS; antibacterial; biofilm scavenging; nitrogen-doped carbon capsules

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