BOOK Chapter

The Book Fundamentals of Nanoparticles: Classifications, Synthesis Methods, Properties and Characterization explores the nanoparticles and architecture of nanostructured materials being used today in a comprehensive, detailed manner. This book focuses primarily on the characterization, properties and synthesis of nanoscale materials, and is divided into three major parts. This is a valuable reference for materials scientists, and chemical and mechanical engineers working in R&D and academia, who want to learn more about how nanoparticles and nanomaterials are characterized and engineered.

The fourth chapter of the book Tailored nanomaterials for antimicrobial applications was written by Diego Gardini and Christopher James Lüscher from ACT.Global’s R&D department in cooperation with Carsten Struve and Karen Angeliki Krogfelt from Statens Serum Institut,

This chapter explores the use of tailored nanostructures and nanomaterials for antimicrobial applications, in response to the growing clinical challenge of antibiotic-resistant pathogens and in an effort of limiting the exposure to dangerous disinfection by-products.

Several important nanomaterials systems are reviewed, including metals, metal oxides, carbon allotropes and cationic polymers. For each system, the antimicrobial mechanism is explained on the basis of the peculiar nanomaterial properties and, when relevant, typical applications are presented, ranging from water disinfection to self-disinfecting surfaces.

The materials’ ability to eliminate or deactivate microorganisms relies, among others, on physical mechanisms such as membrane damage (piercing, insertion and cutting, etc.) and chemical-related oxidative stress by reactive oxygen species or metabolism disruption by metallic ions.

This chapter shows how each of the antimicrobial properties arises and can be enhanced by engineering the properties of the material at the nanoscale, i.e. modifying their morphology, crystallinity or chemical composition.