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Understanding the Antibacterial Mechanism of CuO Nanoparticles: Revealing the Route of Induced Oxidative Stress

Authors

  • Guy Applerot,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Kanbar Laboratory for Nanomaterials at the Bar-Ilan University Center for Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel
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  • Jonathan Lellouche,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Kanbar Laboratory for Nanomaterials at the Bar-Ilan University Center for Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel
    2. The Mina & Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Center for Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel
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  • Anat Lipovsky,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Kanbar Laboratory for Nanomaterials at the Bar-Ilan University Center for Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel
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  • Yeshayahu Nitzan,

    1. The Mina & Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Center for Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel
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  • Rachel Lubart,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Kanbar Laboratory for Nanomaterials at the Bar-Ilan University Center for Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel
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  • Aharon Gedanken,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry and Kanbar Laboratory for Nanomaterials at the Bar-Ilan University Center for Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel
    • Department of Chemistry and Kanbar Laboratory for Nanomaterials at the Bar-Ilan University Center for Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel
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  • Ehud Banin

    Corresponding author
    1. The Mina & Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Center for Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel
    • The Mina & Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Center for Advanced Materials & Nanotechnology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel.
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Abstract

To date, there is still a lack of definite knowledge regarding the interaction of CuO nanoparticles with bacteria and the possible permeation of the nanoparticles into bacterial cells. This study was aimed at shedding light on the size-dependent (from the microscale down to the small nanoscale) antibacterial activity of CuO. The potent antibacterial activity of CuO nanoparticles was found to be due to ROS-generation by the nanoparticles attached to the bacterial cells, which in turn provoked an enhancement of the intracellular oxidative stress. This paradigm was confirmed by several assays such as lipid peroxidation and reporter strains of oxidative stress. Furthermore, electron microscopy indicated that the small nanoparticles of CuO penetrated the cells. Collectively, the results reported herein may reconcile conflicting concepts in the literature concerning the antibacterial mechanism of CuO nanoparticles, as well as highlight the potential for developing sustainable CuO nanoparticles-based devices for inhibiting bacterial infections.

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