Hybrid-silica nanoparticles as a delivery system of the natural biocide carvacrol

Chana G. Sokolik, Jean Paul Lellouche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Bacterial resistance to common antibiotics necessitates innovative solutions. The phenolic antimicrobial compound carvacrol, a major ingredient in the Essential Oils (EOs) of oregano and thyme, has the advantages of natural compounds such as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status, but needs an appropriate delivery system designed to overcome its drawbacks (such as low aqueous solubility, easy phenol oxidation, heat/light inactivation, distinct odor). An alkoxysilane incorporating the carvacrol moiety is synthesized and subsequently employed to fabricate hybrid silica nanoparticles (NPs) with carvacrol covalently bound to the silica matrix. The enzymatically hydrolyzable carbamate bond turns these NPs into a release-on-demand nanoscale system for the biocide carvacrol. Characterization of both silane linker and hybrid silica NPs, including quantification of the bioactive compound in the bulk and on the NP surface, is accomplished by spectroscopic methods, including X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), and Thermo-Gravimetric Analysis (TGA), Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS), ζ-potential measurements, as well as electron microscopy. Preliminary biological testing with E. coli proves an antibacterial effect. The carbamoylation reaction employed to synthesize the hybrid silica precursor might be readily applied to other bioactive phenolic compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36712-36721
Number of pages10
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number64
StatePublished - 26 Oct 2018

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© The Royal Society of Chemistry.


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