Científicos de Yale usan nanotecnología para combatir la E. coliContributed by: Anonymous · Views: 1,943
Contributed by: Anonymous · August 29, 2007 @ 09:55 AM MDT · Views: 1,943
Yale scientists use nanotechnology to fight E. coliNew Haven, Conn. — Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) can kill bacteria like the common pathogen E. coli by severely damaging their cell walls, according to a recent report from Yale researchers in the American Chemical Society (ACS) journal Langmuir.
E.coli incubated for one hour on support matrix in the absence (1) or in the presence (2) of nanotubes. (Elimelech/Yale)
This “nanoscience version of a David-and-Goliath story” was hailed in an ACS preview of the work as the first direct evidence that “carbon nanotubes have powerful antimicrobial activity, a discovery that could help fight the growing problem of antibiotic resistant infections.”
Using the simple E. coli as test cells, the researchers incubated cultures of the bacteria in the presence of the nanotubes for up to an hour. The microbes were killed outright – but only when there was direct contact with aggregates of the SWCNTs that touched the bacteria. Elimelech speculates that the long, thin nanotubes puncture the cells and cause cellular damage.
“We're now studying the toxicity of multi-walled carbon nanotubes and our preliminary results show that they are less toxic than SWCNTs,” Elimelech said. “We are also looking at the effects of SWCNTs on a wide range of bacterial strains to better understand the mechanism of cellular damage.”
Elimelech projects that SWCNTs could be used to create antimicrobial materials and surface coatings to improve hygiene, while their toxicity could be managed by embedding them to prevent their leaching into the environment.
Other authors on the paper are Seoktae Kang and Mathieu Pinault. The project was funded by a research grant from the National Science Foundation. Citation: Langmuir 23(17): 8670-8673 (August 28, 2007).
Janet Rettig Emanuel
Courtesy: Yale University