Research Topic

Design and Applications of Metal- and Metal Oxide-Based Antibacterial Materials

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About this Research Topic

The growth of harmful bacteria can be life-threatening to humans via several transmission channels. Bacterial infections can cause serious illnesses such as pneumonia and tuberculosis, and antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria have developed, reducing the effectiveness of antibiotics and complicating the ...

The growth of harmful bacteria can be life-threatening to humans via several transmission channels. Bacterial infections can cause serious illnesses such as pneumonia and tuberculosis, and antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria have developed, reducing the effectiveness of antibiotics and complicating the treatment of future infections. Bacterial contamination of food products also poses a serious threat, impacting industries such as food processing, dairy and the marine industry, etc. Bacterial biofilms, where bacterial cells stick to each other and to a surface, is an especially big problem in industries such as the leather industry, and in water management systems. Biofilms on the surfaces of leather products or water distribution systems could harbor human pathogens and lead to a public health issue.

Hence, it is essential at this time to develop materials that control the growth of harmful bacteria. Recent advancements in science and technology have led to the development of novel drugs, molecules, coating technologies, and antibacterial materials for the control of bacterial infections and environmental effects caused by bacteria. Metals have been shown to have excellent antibacterial properties; they can selectively inhibit metabolic pathways and kill multi‐drug resistant bacteria. Similar to antibiotics, metals can differentiate between bacterial and mammalian cells due to the difference in their metal transport system and metalloproteins. This property allows us to employ metals as effective, long‐term antibacterial and biofilm-preventing material.

Metallic nanomaterials (such as silver, gold, copper, titanium, and so on) in particular can exert their antimicrobial effects over a particular range. The large surface area-to-volume ratio and the smaller dimension of nanomaterials compared to bacteria allow metallic nanomaterials to strongly interact with bacteria and biofilms and render their bactericidal effect. Metal nanoparticles (NPs) physically interact with bacterial cells through three major pathways: cell wall disruption, binding to cytosolic proteins (enzymes) and DNA, and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) or oxygen free radicals. Extensively-studied metal NPs that have potential antimicrobial effects include silver, gold, and gallium. In the future, these metal‐based nanomaterials could be combined with antibiotics for optimal antimicrobial activity.

With this in mind, this Research Topic aims to bring together recent advances in the development of metal- and metal oxide-based antibacterial materials via reliable, ecofriendly, and cost-effective approaches to control multi-drug resistant bacteria. Thus, we welcome contributions that focus on the development, design, and application of antibacterial materials in the form of Review or Original Research articles. Key themes include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Design and characterization of novel metal- and metal oxide-based antibacterial materials, including nanoparticles and coatings
• Green synthesis or ecofriendly synthesis methods for metal- and metal oxide-based antibacterial materials
• New antibacterial metal or metal oxide composites


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