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Issue 23, 2016
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Oxidative stress-mediated selective antimicrobial ability of nano-VO2 against Gram-positive bacteria for environmental and biomedical applications

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Abstract

Vanadium dioxide (VO2) is a unique thermochromic material as a result of its semiconductor–metal transition, holding great promise for energy-saving intelligent windows. Herein, pure nano-VO2 from discrete nanoparticles to continuous films were successfully deposited on quartz glass by controlling the sputtering parameters. It was demonstrated that, for Gram-positive S. aureus and S. epidermidis, the nano-VO2 could effectively disrupt bacteria morphology and membrane integrity, and eventually cause death. By contrast, the nano-VO2 did not exhibit significant toxicity towards Gram-negative E. coli and P. aeruginosa. To our knowledge, this is the first report on a selective antimicrobial effect of nano-VO2 materials on Gram-positive bacteria. Based on the experimental results, a plausible mechanism was proposed for the antimicrobial selectivity, which might originate from the different sensitivity of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria to intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) level. Elevated intracellular ROS levels exceed the threshold that bacteria can self-regulate to maintain cellular redox homeostasis and thus cause oxidative stress, which can be alleviated by the intervention of glutathione (GSH) antioxidant. In addition, nano-VO2 did not produce significant cytotoxicity (hemolysis) against human erythrocytes within 12 h. Meanwhile, potential cytotoxicity against HIBEpiC revealed a time- and dose-dependent behavior that might be controlled and balanced by careful design. The findings in the present work may contribute to understanding the antimicrobial behavior of nano-VO2, and to expanding the new applications of VO2-based nanomaterials in environmental and biomedical fields.

Graphical abstract: Oxidative stress-mediated selective antimicrobial ability of nano-VO2 against Gram-positive bacteria for environmental and biomedical applications

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Article information


Submitted
07 Apr 2016
Accepted
11 May 2016
First published
12 May 2016

Nanoscale, 2016,8, 11907-11923
Article type
Paper

Oxidative stress-mediated selective antimicrobial ability of nano-VO2 against Gram-positive bacteria for environmental and biomedical applications

J. Li, H. Zhou, J. Wang, D. Wang, R. Shen, X. Zhang, P. Jin and X. Liu, Nanoscale, 2016, 8, 11907
DOI: 10.1039/C6NR02844F

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