Antimicrobial light-activated materials: towards application for food and environmental safety
To produce light-activated antimicrobial materials composed of the photodynamic dye phloxine B incorporated into paper or cellulose membranes and to investigate ability of these materials to decrease bacterial loads on their surfaces as well as on food surfaces that were in contact with these materials under illumination with regular white light.
Methods and Results
Antimicrobial cellulose-based materials with incorporated phloxine B were produced using a layer-by-layer deposition method. Antimicrobial properties of the materials were tested in model systems as well as for decontamination of food and food contact surfaces. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Listeria monocytogenes and Bacillus anthracis were efficiently killed by exposure of the bacterial suspension to the dye-containing material under illumination with white light, but Salmonella Typhimurium and Escherichia coli O157:H7 were only partially affected. Application of the materials for decontamination of food surfaces artificially contaminated with L. monocytogenes was shown to be ineffective, while the self-decontamination of the material surface by exposure to white light resulted in eradication of L. monocytogenes cells from the material surface.
The developed materials showed significant self-decontaminating ability when under illumination; however, decontamination of food surfaces in contact with the developed materials was not achieved.
Significance and Impact of the Study
The study demonstrates the antibacterial activity of materials with incorporated photodynamic dyes when under illumination with regular-intensity white light. Possible uses of the light-activated antimicrobial materials for food processing, as food contact surfaces, and surfaces in public areas to prevent cross-contamination are discussed.