Noble metal nanostructures in the fight against bacterial infections

by Chen, Jingyi

Noble metal nanostructures exhibit strong interactions with electromagnetic waves and excellent biocompatibility. Their surface can be easily functionalized with different moieties through linkers via metal-ligand coordination chem. or by various coating processes. This opens the door for noble metal nanostructures to be put to work for a wide variety of biomedical applications. The presentation will cover the recent advances of noble metal nanostructures for their uses in the combat against bacterial infections with two case studies. The first one is the use of gold nanocages as therapeutic agents and antibiotic carriers to eradicate antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are associated with biofilm infections. A therapeutic synergy was observed in the dual photothermal and antibiotic treatment. The combined therapeutic strategy has been shown to be broadly applicable to the ESKAPE pathogens including gram-pos. to gram-neg. bacteria. Some limitations yet to be overcome will also be discussed. The second case study is with respect to the use of silver nanostructures to directly inhibit the growth of bacteria. The study reveals the effects of size, shape, and surface chem. on the antimicrobial activity of silver, the antimicrobial mechanisms of silver, and the emerging concerns of silver resistance in bacteria.