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Graphene matrices as carriers for metal ions against antibiotic susceptible and resistant bacterial pathogens

Slate, AJ and Karaky, N and Crowther, GS and Butler, JA and McBain, AJ and Whitehead, KA (2021) Graphene matrices as carriers for metal ions against antibiotic susceptible and resistant bacterial pathogens. Coatings, 11 (3). ISSN 2079-6412

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Abstract

Due to the ever-increasing burden of antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) bacteria, the development of novel antimicrobial agents and biomaterials to act as carriers and/or potentiate antimicrobial activity is essential. This study assessed the antimicrobial efficacy of the following ionic metals, silver, gold, palladium, platinum, zinc, and gallium alone and in combination with graphene matrices (which were coated via a drop casting coating method). The graphene foam was utilized as a carrier for the ionic metals against both, antibiotic susceptible and resistant bacterial strains of Acinetobac-ter baumannii, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Ionic gold, palladium and platinum demonstrated the greatest antimicrobial activity against the susceptible and resistant strains. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) visualized cellular ultrastructure damage, when the bacteria were incubated upon the graphene foam alone. This study suggests that specific metal ions applied in combination with graphene foam could present a potential therapeutic option to treat AMR bacterial infections. The application of the graphene foam as a potential carrier could promote antimicrobial activity, provide a sustained release approach and reduce possible resistance acquisition. In light of this study, the graphene foam and ionic metal combinations could potentially be further developed as part of a wound dressing.

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