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Antibacterial Activity and Synergetic Mechanism of Carbon Dots against Gram-Positive and -Negative Bacteria

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journal contribution
posted on 23.08.2021, 16:03 by Jiarong Liang, Wei Li, Jianying Chen, Xiaoman Huang, Yingliang Liu, Xuejie Zhang, Wei Shu, Bingfu Lei, Haoran Zhang
Carbon dots (CDs) with exciting photoluminescence characteristics, mild toxicity, and good biocompatibility are the research hotspots in biomedical application. Here, a compact antibacterial activity of CDs from levofloxacin hydrochloride is reported. The obtained CDs with an average size of 1.27 nm have fascinating antibacterial properties against both gram-positive and negative bacteria, with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of 64, 128, 64, and 128 μg/mL for Escherichia coli (E. coli), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa), Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), and Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis). The antibacterial processes of CDs from extracellular to intracellular were demonstrated, including physical/chemical binding to membrane, wrapping on the surface, destruction of the cell membrane, and promoting reactive oxygen species (ROS) production into the cell without additional light or oxidant. Surprisingly, CDs exert moderate cytotoxicity on mammalian cells at the equivalent bactericidal concentration, in which the cell viability is more than 80% at 100 μg/mL of CDs. The investigation of antibacterial CDs may provide a useful avenue for further exploiting CD-based nano-bactericides in biomedical applications.

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