A novel method for bacteria inactivation using Engineered Water Nanostructures.

G. Pyrgiotakis, J. McDevitt, T. Yamauchi, P. Demokritou
Harvard School of Public Health, US

Keywords: engineered water nanostructures, electrospray, bacterial inactivation


Herein we present a novel method for microbial disinfection that utilizes the formation of unique Engineered Water Nanostructures (EWNS) generated via the electrospraying of water. Electropsray is a method widely, used to generate aerosols and synthesize particles for very long time. The inactivation of bacteria in the air and on surfaces by the EWNS was assessed both quantitatively and qualitatively. We also investigated the synthesis process and the properties of the generated EWNS, especially their size distribution and charge. Different types of bacteria were used in order to cover a wide range of potential applications. Our results show that the EWNS have a size of approximately 20 nm, which is very stable, and carry an average charge of 10 electrons per particle. The results from both surfaces and air inactivation showed that the aerosol of the EWNS was able to inactivate the bacteria. The TEM images for the Serratia Marcescens show that the live cells have a strong membrane and rod like shape. On the contrary the exposed cells seem to lack the outer membrane and have developed a large vacuole.