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Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Oct 29;20(21). pii: E5394. doi: 10.3390/ijms20215394.

Antibacterial Property of Composites of Reduced Graphene Oxide with Nano-Silver and Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles Synthesized Using a Microwave-Assisted Approach.

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Department of Seafood Science, National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology, Kaohsiung 81143, Taiwan.
Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Yuan Ze University, Taoyuan 32003, Taiwan.
Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Yuan Ze University, Taoyuan 32003, Taiwan.
Graduate School of Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Yuan Ze University, Taoyuan 32003, Taiwan.
Department of Internal Medicine, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, New Taipei City 220, Taiwan.
Graduate Institute of Biomedical Sciences, and Research Center for Bacterial Pathogenesis, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan.


Graphene oxide (GO) composites with various metal nanoparticles (NPs) are attracting increasing interest owing to their broad scope in biomedical applications. Here, microwave-assisted chemical reduction was used to deposit nano-silver and zinc oxide NPs (Ag and ZnO NPs) on the surface of reduced GO (rGO) at the following weight percentages: 5.34% Ag/rGO, 7.49% Ag/rGO, 6.85% ZnO/rGO, 16.45% ZnO/rGO, 3.47/34.91% Ag/ZnO/rGO, and 7.08/15.28% Ag/ZnO/rGO. These materials were tested for antibacterial activity, and 3.47/34.91% Ag/ZnO/rGO and 7.08/15.28% Ag/ZnO/rGO exhibited better antibacterial activity than the other tested materials against the gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli K12. At 1000 ppm, both these Ag/ZnO/rGO composites had better killing properties against both E. coli K12 and the gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus SA113 than Ag/rGO and ZnO/rGO did. RedoxSensor flow cytometry showed that 3.47/34.91% Ag/ZnO/rGO and 7.08/15.28% Ag/ZnO/rGO decreased reductase activity and affected membrane integrity in the bacteria. At 100 ppm, these two composites affected membrane integrity more in E. coli, while 7.08/15.28% Ag/ZnO/rGO considerably decreased reductase activity in S. aureus. Thus, the 3.47/34.91% and 7.08%/15.28% Ag/ZnO/rGO nanocomposites can be applied not only as antibacterial agents but also in a variety of biomedical materials such as sensors, photothermal therapy, drug delivery, and catalysis, in the future.


Escherichia coli; Staphylococcus aureus; antibacterial agents; graphene; minimum inhibitory concentration; nano-silver; nanocomposite; sterilization

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