Antimicrobial properties of polyaniline and polypyrrole decorated with zinc-doped copper oxide microparticles

Moorthy Maruthapandi, Arumugam Saravanan, John H.T. Luong, Aharon Gedanken

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44 Scopus citations


Polyaniline (PANI) and polypyrrole (PPY) were synthesized by carbon dots (CDs) under UV irradiation and then sonicated together with zinc acetate and copper acetate to form the PANI-Zn@CuO and PPY-Zn@Cu composites. The former consisted of agglomerated spherical particles with diameters of 1-5 μm, whereas the latter displayed irregular stick shapes with similar diameters. The bacterial potency of the composites against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus was enhanced remarkably with Zn doping in the CuO matrix, designated as Zn0.11Cu0.89O, at 0.144 mg/mL. The cell death was mainly attributed to the release of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that would severely damage DNA, proteins, and lipids. Bacteria could adhere to neutral surfaces of the composites by van derWaals attractive forces. The binding event disrupted the native surface charge of bacterial cells to induce cell lysis and result in eventual cell death.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1286
Issue number6
StatePublished - 4 Jun 2020

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© 2020 by the authors.


  • Antimicrobial
  • Escherichia coli
  • Polymer composite
  • Polypyrrole
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Zinc-doped copper oxide


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