Antibacterial activity of ZnO nanoparticle suspensions on a broad spectrum of microorganisms


  • Editor: Simon Silver

Correspondence: Adhar C. Manna, Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences, Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota, 414 E Clark Street, Vermillion, SD 57069, USA. Tel.: +1 605 677 6336; fax: +1 605 677 6381; e-mail:


Nanoparticle metal oxides represent a new class of important materials that are increasingly being developed for use in research and health-related applications. Highly ionic metal oxides are interesting not only for their wide variety of physical and chemical properties but also for their antibacterial activity. Although the in vitro antibacterial activity and efficacy of regular zinc oxides have been investigated, little is known about the antibacterial activity of nanoparticles of ZnO. Preliminary growth analysis data suggest that nanoparticles of ZnO have significantly higher antibacterial effects on Staphylococcus aureus than do five other metal oxide nanoparticles. In addition, studies have clearly demonstrated that ZnO nanoparticles have a wide range of antibacterial effects on a number of other microorganisms. The antibacterial activity of ZnO may be dependent on the size and the presence of normal visible light. The data suggest that ZnO nanoparticles have a potential application as a bacteriostatic agent in visible light and may have future applications in the development of derivative agents to control the spread and infection of a variety of bacterial strains.