Bactericidal heavy metal nanocomposites for industrial and biomedical platforms

by Cole, Parker; Thornburgh, Savannah; Burnett, Bailey; Tian, Z. Ryan; Carbonero, Franck

Transmission of pathogens and resulting biofilm growth have gained increasing importance in industrial applications like water treatment and sanitation, food packaging, and public environments, such as public transportation. In addn., reports indicate that nosocomial infections account for 2 million infections and 90,000 preventable deaths per yr in the US. Utilizing nanotechnol. provides a good platform to alter phys.-chem. properties of different materials compared to their bulk counterparts that can be harnessed for bio-applications. Several nanoparticles, such as silver, iron oxide (Fe3O4), titanium dioxide, zinc oxide (ZnO) and gold have been extensively studied for their antimicrobial activity. The drawback from using various nanomaterials is the lack of cost-effective methods to yield bactericidal composites for use in these niche applications. Herein, we are reporting biocompatible, anti-microbial nanomaterials via facile, cost-efficient methods for integration in biomedical and industrial applications. Preliminary E. coli and S. aureus studies have shown inhibition of growth on brain heart infusion (BHI) media following administration and subsequent removal of the sample. Our materials can be used for water treatment in cooling towers, bactericidal activity on orthopedic implants, and potentially reducing air-borne infection through ventilation filters. In addn. to this, our materials can be reused upon UV cleaning or chem. washing which is a unique property to this disruptive product.