Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Yale Scientists Use Nanotechnology to Fight E. coli

E.coli incubated for one hour on support matrix in the absence (1) or in the presence (2) of nanotubes. (Elimelech/Yale)
E.coli incubated for one hour on support matrix in the absence (1) or in the presence (2) of nanotubes. (Elimelech/Yale)

Abstract:
Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) can kill bacteria like the common pathogen E. coli by severely damaging their cell walls, according to a recent report from Yale researchers in the American Chemical Society (ACS) journal Langmuir.

Yale Scientists Use Nanotechnology to Fight E. coli

NEW HAVEN, CT | Posted on September 3rd, 2007

"We began the study out of concerns for the possible toxicity of nanotubes in aquatic environments and their presence in the food chain," said Menachem Elimelech, professor and chair of chemical and environmental engineering at Yale and senior author on the paper. "While nanotubes have great promise for medical and commercial applications there is little understanding of how they interact with humans and the environment."

"The nanotubes are microscopic carbon cylinders, thousands of times smaller than a human hair that can be easily taken up by human cells," said Elimelech. "We wanted to find out more about where and how they are toxic."

This "nanoscience version of a David-and-Goliath story" was hailed in an ACS preview of the work as the first direct evidence that "carbon nanotubes have powerful antimicrobial activity, a discovery that could help fight the growing problem of antibiotic resistant infections."

Using the simple E. coli as test cells, the researchers incubated cultures of the bacteria in the presence of the nanotubes for up to an hour. The microbes were killed outright - but only when there was direct contact with aggregates of the SWCNTs that touched the bacteria. Elimelech speculates that the long, thin nanotubes puncture the cells and cause cellular damage.

The study ruled out metal toxicity as a source of the cell damage. To avoid metal contaminants in commercial sources, the SWCNTs were rigorously synthesized and purified in the laboratory of co-author Professor Lisa Pfefferle.

"We're now studying the toxicity of multi-walled carbon nanotubes and our preliminary results show that they are less toxic than SWCNTs," Elimelech said. "We are also looking at the effects of SWCNTs on a wide range of bacterial strains to better understand the mechanism of cellular damage."

Elimelech projects that SWCNTs could be used to create antimicrobial materials and surface coatings to improve hygiene, while their toxicity could be managed by embedding them to prevent their leaching into the environment.

Other authors on the paper are Seoktae Kang and Mathieu Pinault. The project was funded by a research grant from the National Science Foundation.

Citation: Langmuir 23(17): 8670-8673 (August 28, 2007).

####

About Yale University
Yale University comprises three major academic components: Yale College (the undergraduate program), the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the professional schools. In addition, Yale encompasses a wide array of centers and programs, libraries, museums, and administrative support offices. Approximately 11,250 students attend Yale.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Janet Rettig Emanuel
203-432-2157

Copyright © Yale University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Nanomedicine

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

New active filaments mimic biology to transport nano-cargo: A new design for a fully biocompatible motility engine transports colloidal particles faster than diffusion with active filaments January 11th, 2017

Keystone Nano Announces FDA Approval Of Investigational New Drug Application For Ceramide NanoLiposome For The Improved Treatment Of Cancer January 10th, 2017

Captured on video: DNA nanotubes build a bridge between 2 molecular posts: Research may lead to new lines of direct communication with cells January 9th, 2017

Discoveries

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

Self-assembling particles brighten future of LED lighting January 18th, 2017

Dressing a metal in various colors: DGIST research developed a technology to coat metal with several nanometers of semiconducting materials January 17th, 2017

Announcements

Eric Berger Wins the National Space Society's 2017 Space Pioneer Award for Mass Media January 19th, 2017

Nanometrics to Announce Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results on February 7, 2017 January 19th, 2017

'5-D protein fingerprinting' could give insights into Alzheimer's, Parkinson's January 19th, 2017

Strength of hair inspires new materials for body armor January 18th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project