Inhibition of microbial growth by carbon nanotube networks

Massimiliano Olivi, Elena Zanni, Giovanni De Bellis, Claudio Talora, Maria Sabrina Sarto, Claudio Palleschi, Emmanuel Flahaut, Marc Monthioux, Stefania Rapino, Daniela Uccelletti, Silvana Fiorito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the last years carbon nanotubes have attracted increasing attention for their potential applications in the biomedical field as diagnostic and therapeutic nano tools. Here we investigate the antimicrobial activity of different fully characterized carbon nanotube types (single walled, double walled and multi walled) on representative pathogen species: Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus, Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the opportunistic fungus Candida albicans. Our results show that all the carbon nanotube types possess a highly significant antimicrobial capacity, even though they have a colony forming unit capacity and induction of oxidative stress in all the microbial species to a different extent. Moreover, scanning electron microscopy analysis revealed that the microbial cells were wrapped or entrapped by carbon nanotube networks. Our data taken together suggest that the reduced capacity of microbial cells to forming colonies and their oxidative response could be related to the cellular stress induced by the interactions of pathogens with the CNT network.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9023-9029
Number of pages7
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - Oct 7 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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