We investigated the antibacterial activity of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) dispersed in surfactant solutions of sodium cholate, sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate, and sodium dodecyl sulfate. Among the three surfactants, sodium cholate demonstrated the weakest antibacterial activity against Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli, and Enterococcus faecium and thereby was used to disperse bundled SWCNTs in order to study nanotube antibiotic activity. SWCNTs exhibited antibacterial characteristics for both S. enterica and E. coli. With the increase of nanotube concentrations from 0.3 mg/mL to 1.5 mg/mL, the growth curves had plateaus at lower absorbance values whereas the absorbance value was not obviously affected by the incubation ranging from 5 min to 2 h. Our findings indicate that carbon nanotubes could become an effective alternative to antibiotics in dealing with drug-resistant and multidrug-resistant bacterial strains because of the physical mode of bactericidal action that SWCNTs display.


Biomedical Sciences
Physics, Astronomy, and Materials Science

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© 2012 The authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Journal of Nanotechnology