Eradication of multi-drug resistant bacteria by a novel Zn-doped CuO nanocomposite

Eyal Malka, Ilana Perelshtein, Anat Lipovsky, Yakov Shalom, Livnat Naparstek, Nina Perkas, Tal Patick, Rachel Lubart, Yeshayahu Nitzan, Ehud Banin, Aharon Gedanken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

171 Scopus citations


Zinc-doped copper oxide nanoparticles are synthesized and simultaneously deposited on cotton fabric using ultrasound irradiation. The optimization of the processing conditions, the specific reagent ratio, and the precursor concentration results in the formation of uniform nanoparticles with an average size of ≈30 nm. The antibacterial activity of the Zn-doped CuO Cu 0.88Zn0.12O in a colloidal suspension or deposited on the fabric is tested against Escherichia coli (Gram negative) and Staphylococcus aureus (Gram positive) bacteria. A substantial enhancement of 10 000 times in the antimicrobial activity of the Zn-CuO nanocomposite compared to the pure CuO and ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) is observed after 10 min exposure to the bacteria. Similar activities are observed against multidrug-resistant bacteria (MDR), (i.e., Methicillin-resistant S. aureus and MDR E. coli) further emphasizing the efficacy of this composite. Finally, the mechanism for this enhanced antibacterial activity is presented. Zn-doped CuO nanoparticles show remarkable activity toward pathogenic bacteria. Synthesized in a one step sonochemical reaction, the Zn-CuO are subsequently deposited on fabric, and caused a complete eradication of both regular and multidrug-resistant bacteria within 30 min of treatment. The mechanism of its antibacterial activity is found to be reactive oxygen species dependent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4069-4076
Number of pages8
Issue number23
StatePublished - 9 Dec 2013


  • CuO
  • ZnO
  • antibacterials
  • doping
  • multi-drug resistance
  • nanocomposites
  • nanoparticles


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