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Antibacterial Liquid Metals: Biofilm Treatment via Magnetic Activation

  • Aaron Elbourne
    Aaron Elbourne
    School of Science, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia
    Nanobiotechnology Laboratory, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia
  • Samuel Cheeseman
    Samuel Cheeseman
    School of Science, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia
    Nanobiotechnology Laboratory, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia
  • Paul Atkin
    Paul Atkin
    School of Engineering, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia
    CSIRO Australia, Private Bag 33, Clayton South MDC, Clayton, Victoria 3169, Australia
    More by Paul Atkin
  • Nghia P. Truong
    Nghia P. Truong
    ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, 399 Royal Parade, Parkville, Victoria 3152, Australia
  • Nitu Syed
    Nitu Syed
    School of Engineering, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia
    More by Nitu Syed
  • Ali Zavabeti
    Ali Zavabeti
    School of Engineering, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia
    More by Ali Zavabeti
  • Md Mohiuddin
    Md Mohiuddin
    School of Engineering, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia
    More by Md Mohiuddin
  • Dorna Esrafilzadeh
    Dorna Esrafilzadeh
    School of Engineering, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia
    Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia
  • Daniel Cozzolino
    Daniel Cozzolino
    School of Science, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia
  • Chris F. McConville
    Chris F. McConville
    School of Science, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia
  • Michael D. Dickey
    Michael D. Dickey
    Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695, United States
  • Russell J. Crawford
    Russell J. Crawford
    School of Science, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia
    Nanobiotechnology Laboratory, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia
  • Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh
    Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh
    School of Chemical Engineering, University of New South Wales (UNSW), Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia
  • James Chapman*
    James Chapman
    School of Science, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia
    Nanobiotechnology Laboratory, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia
    *E-mail: [email protected]
  • Torben Daeneke*
    Torben Daeneke
    School of Engineering, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia
    *E-mail: [email protected]
  • , and 
  • Vi Khanh Truong*
    Vi Khanh Truong
    School of Science, College of Science, Engineering and Health, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia
    Nanobiotechnology Laboratory, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria 3001, Australia
    *E-mail: [email protected]
Cite this: ACS Nano 2020, 14, 1, 802–817
Publication Date (Web):January 10, 2020
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract Image

    Antibiotic resistance has made the treatment of biofilm-related infections challenging. As such, the quest for next-generation antimicrobial technologies must focus on targeted therapies to which pathogenic bacteria cannot develop resistance. Stimuli-responsive therapies represent an alternative technological focus due to their capability of delivering targeted treatment. This study provides a proof-of-concept investigation into the use of magneto-responsive gallium-based liquid metal (LM) droplets as antibacterial materials, which can physically damage, disintegrate, and kill pathogens within a mature biofilm. Once exposed to a low-intensity rotating magnetic field, the LM droplets become physically actuated and transform their shape, developing sharp edges. When placed in contact with a bacterial biofilm, the movement of the particles resulting from the magnetic field, coupled with the presence of nanosharp edges, physically ruptures the bacterial cells and the dense biofilm matrix is broken down. The antibacterial efficacy of the magnetically activated LM particles was assessed against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial biofilms. After 90 min over 99% of both bacterial species became nonviable, and the destruction of the biofilms was observed. These results will impact the design of next-generation, LM-based biofilm treatments.

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    • XPS data, EDX data, UV–vis data, additional SEM images, raw biofilm measurements, CFU data, additional TEM data, additional cytotoxicity testing, optical images, and tables comparing results to other systems in the literature (PDF)

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