Scientific Reports (2016-12-01)

Biomimetic antimicrobial cloak by graphene-oxide agar hydrogel

  • Massimiliano Papi,
  • Valentina Palmieri,
  • Francesca Bugli,
  • Marco De Spirito,
  • Maurizio Sanguinetti,
  • Carlotta Ciancico,
  • Maria Chiara Braidotti,
  • Silvia Gentilini,
  • Luca Angelani,
  • Claudio Conti

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 6, no. 1
pp. 1 – 7


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Abstract Antibacterial surfaces have an enormous economic and social impact on the worldwide technological fight against diseases. However, bacteria develop resistance and coatings are often not uniform and not stable in time. The challenge is finding an antibacterial coating that is biocompatible, cost-effective, not toxic, and spreadable over large and irregular surfaces. Here we demonstrate an antibacterial cloak by laser printing of graphene oxide hydrogels mimicking the Cancer Pagurus carapace. We observe up to 90% reduction of bacteria cells. This cloak exploits natural surface patterns evolved to resist to microorganisms infection, and the antimicrobial efficacy of graphene oxide. Cell integrity analysis by scanning electron microscopy and nucleic acids release show bacteriostatic and bactericidal effect. Nucleic acids release demonstrates microorganism cutting, and microscopy reveals cells wrapped by the laser treated gel. A theoretical active matter model confirms our findings. The employment of biomimetic graphene oxide gels opens unique possibilities to decrease infections in biomedical applications and chirurgical equipment; our antibiotic-free approach, based on the geometric reduction of microbial adhesion and the mechanical action of Graphene Oxide sheets, is potentially not affected by bacterial resistance.