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Nanomaterials 2016, 6(10), 179; doi:10.3390/nano6100179

Zinc Oxide Nanorods-Decorated Graphene Nanoplatelets: A Promising Antimicrobial Agent against the Cariogenic Bacterium Streptococcus mutans

1
BBCD, Department of Biology and Biotechnology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome 00185, Italy
2
SNN Lab, Sapienza Nanotechnology & Nano-Science Laboratory, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome 00185, Italy
3
DIAEE, Department of Astronautical, Electrical, Energy Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome 00185, Italy
4
Sustainable Territorial and Production Systems Department (SSPT) PROTER Division, BioGeoChemistry Laboratory, ENEA, National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, Rome 00123, Italy
5
Department of Earth Science, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome 00185, Italy
6
Department of Dentistry and Maxillo-Facial Sciences, Unit of Pediatric Dentistry Sapienza University of Rome, Rome 00185, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Guogang Ren
Received: 10 August 2016 / Revised: 16 September 2016 / Accepted: 21 September 2016 / Published: 29 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology)
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Abstract

Nanomaterials are revolutionizing the field of medicine to improve the quality of life due to the myriad of applications stemming from their unique properties, including the antimicrobial activity against pathogens. In this study, the antimicrobial and antibiofilm properties of a novel nanomaterial composed by zinc oxide nanorods-decorated graphene nanoplatelets (ZNGs) are investigated. ZNGs were produced by hydrothermal method and characterized through field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques. The antimicrobial activity of ZNGs was evaluated against Streptococcus mutans, the main bacteriological agent in the etiology of dental caries. Cell viability assay demonstrated that ZNGs exerted a strikingly high killing effect on S. mutans cells in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, FE-SEM analysis revealed relevant mechanical damages exerted by ZNGs at the cell surface of this dental pathogen rather than reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. In addition, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) measurements showed negligible zinc dissolution, demonstrating that zinc ion release in the suspension is not associated with the high cell mortality rate. Finally, our data indicated that also S. mutans biofilm formation was affected by the presence of graphene-zinc oxide (ZnO) based material, as witnessed by the safranin staining and growth curve analysis. Therefore, ZNGs can be a remarkable nanobactericide against one of the main dental pathogens. The potential applications in dental care and therapy are very promising. View Full-Text
Keywords: streptococcus mutans; antimicrobial activity; graphene nanoplatelets; zinc oxide; composite; dental caries streptococcus mutans; antimicrobial activity; graphene nanoplatelets; zinc oxide; composite; dental caries
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Zanni, E.; Chandraiahgari, C.R.; De Bellis, G.; Montereali, M.R.; Armiento, G.; Ballirano, P.; Polimeni, A.; Sarto, M.S.; Uccelletti, D. Zinc Oxide Nanorods-Decorated Graphene Nanoplatelets: A Promising Antimicrobial Agent against the Cariogenic Bacterium Streptococcus mutans. Nanomaterials 2016, 6, 179.

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