Synergistic Antibacterial Effects of Metallic Nanoparticle Combinations

Claire Bankier, Yuen Ki Cheong, Rupy Kaur Matharu, Guogang Ren, Elaine Cloutman-Green, Lena Ciric

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)
50 Downloads (Pure)


Metallic nanoparticles have unique antimicrobial properties that make them suitable for use within medical and pharmaceutical devices to prevent the spread of infection in healthcare. The use of nanoparticles in healthcare is on the increase with silver being used in many devices. However, not all metallic nanoparticles can target and kill all disease-causing bacteria. To overcome this, a combination of several different metallic nanoparticles were used in this study to compare effects of multiple metallic nanoparticles when in combination than when used singly, as single elemental nanoparticles (SENPs), against two common hospital acquired pathogens (Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas. aeruginosa). Flow cytometry LIVE/DEAD assay was used to determine rates of cell death within a bacterial population when exposed to the nanoparticles. Results were analysed using linear models to compare effectiveness of three different metallic nanoparticles, tungsten carbide (WC), silver (Ag) and copper (Cu), in combination and separately. Results show that when the nanoparticles are placed in combination (NPCs), antimicrobial effects significantly increase than when compared with SENPs (P < 0.01). This study demonstrates that certain metallic nanoparticles can be used in combination to improve the antimicrobial efficiency in destroying morphologically distinct pathogens within the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16074
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2019


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