Novel Approach using SWCNT as a Mechanism of Toxicity on Fungal and Bacterial Cells

J.S. Chaves, S.J. Chaves
Instituto Tecnologico de Costa Rica, CR

Keywords: single walled carbon nanotubes, bacteria, fungal, cells, antimicrobial, treatment


The overall goal of this project was to characterize the potential use of SWNTs as an effective alternative to present antimicrobial agents in dealing with drug-resistance. In this study, we look at possible mechanisms to explain the antimicrobial property of SWNTs. We propose that toxicity due to the uptake of SWNTs by the microorganisms is the most likely mechanism for the antimicrobial quality of SWNTs. After incubating different concentrations of SWNTs with bacterial and fungal cells, we noticed that interference with binary fission, budding and other cellular processes is what causes the organism to eventually die and not by a direct contact with the SWNTs. In fact, we noticed that the organisms were able to live for a couple of hours with the SWNTs inside before they started to die. This observation was true for both the bacterial and fungal models used. However, there were some technical challenges we had to address to determine the potential benefits of SWNTs to fight microbial infections.