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Issue 1, 2014
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A chemical free, nanotechnology-based method for airborne bacterial inactivation using engineered water nanostructures

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Abstract

Airborne pathogens are associated with the spread of infectious diseases and increased morbidity and mortality. Herein we present an emerging chemical free, nanotechnology-based method for airborne pathogen inactivation. This technique is based on transforming atmospheric water vapor into Engineered Water Nano-Structures (EWNS) via electrospray. The generated EWNS possess a unique set of physical, chemical, morphological and biological properties. Their average size is 25 nm and they contain reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as hydroxyl and superoxide radicals. In addition, EWNS are highly electrically charged (10 electrons per particle on average). A link between their electric charge and the reduction of their evaporation rate was illustrated resulting in an extended lifetime (over an hour) at room conditions. Furthermore, it was clearly demonstrated that the EWNS have the ability to interact with and inactivate airborne bacteria. Finally, inhaled EWNS were found to have minimal toxicological effects, as illustrated in an acute in-vivo inhalation study using a mouse model. In conclusion, this novel, chemical free, nanotechnology-based method has the potential to be used in the battle against airborne infectious diseases.

Graphical abstract: A chemical free, nanotechnology-based method for airborne bacterial inactivation using engineered water nanostructures

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Jul 2013, accepted on 18 Sep 2013 and first published on 28 Nov 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3EN00007A
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2014,1, 15-26
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    A chemical free, nanotechnology-based method for airborne bacterial inactivation using engineered water nanostructures

    G. Pyrgiotakis, J. McDevitt, A. Bordini, E. Diaz, R. Molina, C. Watson, G. Deloid, S. Lenard, N. Fix, Y. Mizuyama, T. Yamauchi, J. Brain and P. Demokritou, Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2014, 1, 15
    DOI: 10.1039/C3EN00007A

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