Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NP) have shown great potential as a novel antibacterial material at a time when resistance towards conventional antibiotics is becoming more prevalent. We report bacteria inactivation by ZnO NP with novel hedgehog-like morphology using model gram-negative (E. coli) and gram-positive (S. aureus) bacteria. E. coli exposed to the novel ZnO hedgehog NP during growth resulted in 4 orders of magnitude reduction in viable cell concentration after 24 h, which is more than 2 orders higher reduction compared to commercially available ZnO NPs with nominal sizes from 50 nm to 20 um. There was a positive correlation between hedgehog NP concentration and bacteria cell concentration reduction within the range tested 0.1 – 1.0 mg/mL. S. aureus was less sensitive to ZnO NP exposure and inactivation effect of various ZnO NP, was comparable. The effect can be thus attributed to direct mechanical damage of the bacterial mebrane that is the most effective for the novel hedgehog ZnO NP. This conclusion was corroborated also by disk diffusion assays.Keywords: nanotechnology, microbiology, zinc oxide
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