Applied Methods to Assess the Antimicrobial Activity of Metallic-Based Nanoparticles

Etelka Chung, Guogang Ren, Ian Johnston, Rupy Kaur Matharu, Lena Ciric, Agnieszka Walecka, Yuen-Ki Cheong, Milon Hossain (Editor), Shumit Saha (Editor), Shahid ul Islam (Editor)

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With the rise of antibiotic resistance, the drive to discover novel antimicrobial substances and standard testing methods with the aim of controlling transmissive diseases are substantially high. In healthcare sectors and industries, although methods for testing antibiotics and other aqueous-based reagents are well established, methods for testing nanomaterials, non-polar and other particle-based suspensions are still debatable. Hence, utilities of ISO standard validations of such substances have been recalled where corrective actions had to be taken. This paper reports a serial analysis obtained from testing the antimicrobial activities of 10 metallic-based nanomaterials against 10 different pathogens using five different in vitro assays, where the technique, limitation and robustness of each method were evaluated. To confirm antimicrobial activities of metallic-based nanomaterial suspensions, it was found that at least two methods must be used, one being the agar well diffusion method, which was found to be the most reliable method. The agar well diffusion method provided not only information on antimicrobial efficacy through the size of the inhibitory zones, but it also identified antimicrobial ions and synergistic effects released by the test materials. To ascertain the effective inhibitory concentration of nanoparticles, the resazurin broth dilution method is recommended, as MIC can be determined visually without utilising any equipment. This method also overcomes the limit of detection (LoD) and absorbance interference issues, which are often found in the overexpression of cell debris and nanoparticles or quantum dots with optical profiles. In this study, bimetallic AgCu was found to be the most effective antimicrobial nanoparticle tested against across the bacterial (MIC 7 µg/mL) and fungal (MIC 62.5 µg/mL) species.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1259
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
Issue number11
Early online date28 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2023


  • antimicrobial nanoparticles
  • resazurin
  • minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC)
  • copper
  • live–dead assay
  • silver


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