DOI: 10.3390/antibiotics12081276 ISSN: 2079-6382

A High-Performance Antibacterial Nanostructured ZnO Microfluidic Device for Controlled Bacterial Lysis and DNA Release

Yvonni Xesfyngi, Maria Georgoutsou-Spyridonos, Abinash Tripathy, Athanasios Milionis, Dimos Poulikakos, Dimitrios C. Mastellos, Angeliki Tserepi
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology

In this work, the antibacterial properties of nanostructured zinc oxide (ZnO) surfaces are explored by incorporating them as walls in a simple-to-fabricate microchannel device. Bacterial cell lysis is demonstrated and quantified in such a device, which functions due to the action of its nanostructured ZnO surfaces in contact with the working fluid. To shed light on the mechanism responsible for lysis, E. coli bacteria were incubated in zinc and nanostructured ZnO substrates, as well as the here-investigated ZnO-based microfluidic devices. The unprecedented killing efficiency of E. coli in nanostructured ZnO microchannels, effective after a 15 min incubation, paves the way for the implementation of such microfluidic chips in the disinfection of bacteria-containing solutions. In addition, the DNA release was confirmed by off-chip PCR and UV absorption measurements. The results indicate that the present nanostructured ZnO-based microfluidic chip can, under light, achieve partial inactivation of the released bacterial DNA via reactive oxygen species-mediated oxidative damage. The present device concept can find broader applications in cases where the presence of DNA in a sample is not desirable. Furthermore, the present microchannel device enables, in the dark, efficient release of bacterial DNA for downstream genomic DNA analysis. The demonstrated potential of this antibacterial device for tailored dual functionality in light/dark conditions is the main novel contribution of the present work.

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