Derzhavin Tambov State University, 33, Internatsionalnaya street, Tambov 392000, Russia; National University of Science and Technology MISIS, 4, Lenin avenue, Moscow 119991, Russia. Electronic address: [Email]
Graphene and graphene oxide (GO) both being two-dimensional materials are gaining popularity among researchers as a promising nanomaterial for various medical and biological applications. The aim of this study is to elucidate the influence of nanostructured GO sheets on viability of a model species of gram-negative E. coli bacteria transformed with pRSET-emGFP plasmid in in vitro experiments. It was shown that GO at concentrations between 0.0025 and 2.5 g/l in growth medium inhibits growth of bacterial colonies, while in physiological saline solution (PS) this effect decreases dramatically to the point of complete disappearance. It was shown that in order to obtain a pronounced antibacterial effect one needs to introduce high concentrations of GO into the media (up to 2.5 g/l), which can be important for development of antibacterial materials for biomedical applications. Some of the obtained data provide clear evidence to electrostatic nature of interaction between bacterial and GO sheets. A number of previous papers suggested the process of biofilms formation by bacteria as the primary reason for aggregation between graphene-like materials and bacterial cells. However, formation of flocculent structures consisting of GO and dead bacteria and accompanied with decrease in zeta-potential of particles in the suspension to 18 mV proves that electrostatic interactions play the major role in aggregation. The obtained data can be used for employing GO and similar materials in new systems for water-purification from biological contaminants. Besides, our results stress the importance of accounting for the conditions in which goods and coatings containing graphene-like materials as an antibacterial agent are used, as well as unification of the experimental conditions.