Author(s): Mejas Carpio IE, Santos CM, Wei X, Rodrigues DF
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Abstract It is critical to develop highly effective antimicrobial agents that are not harmful to humans and do not present adverse effects on the environment. Although antimicrobial studies of graphene-based nanomaterials are still quite limited, some researchers have paid particular attention to such nanocomposites as promising candidates for the next generation of antimicrobial agents. The polyvinyl-N-carbazole (PVK)-graphene oxide (GO) nanocomposite (PVK-GO), which contains only 3 wt\% of GO well-dispersed in a 97 wt\% PVK matrix, presents excellent antibacterial properties without significant cytotoxicity to mammalian cells. The high polymer content in this nanocomposite makes future large-scale material manufacturing possible in a high-yield process of adiabatic bulk polymerization. In this study, the toxicity of PVK-GO was assessed with planktonic microbial cells, biofilms, and NIH 3T3 fibroblast cells. The antibacterial effects were evaluated against two Gram-negative bacteria: Escherichia coli and Cupriavidus metallidurans; and two Gram-positive bacteria: Bacillus subtilis and Rhodococcus opacus. The results show that the PVK-GO nanocomposite presents higher antimicrobial effects than the pristine GO. The effectiveness of the PVK-GO in solution was demonstrated as the nanocomposite "encapsulated" the bacterial cells, which led to reduced microbial metabolic activity and cell death. The fact that the PVK-GO did not present significant cytotoxicity to fibroblast cells offers a great opportunity for potential applications in important biomedical and industrial fields.
This article was published in Nanoscale
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation