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Antimicrobial Activity of Organically Modified Nano-Clays

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Antimicrobial activity of three kinds of commercially available montmorillonite nano-clays including a naturally occurring one (Cloisite Na+) and two organically modified ones (Cloisite 20A and Cloisite 30B) against four representative pathogenic bacteria (two Gram-positive ones such as Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes, and two Gram-negative ones such as Salmonella typhimurium and E. coli O157:H7) was investigated. Antimicrobial activity was found to be dependent on the type of nano-clay and microorganisms tested. Among the nano-clays tested, Cloisite 30B showed the highest antibacterial activity followed by Cloisite 20A, however, the unmodified montmorillonite (Cloisite Na+) did not show any antibacterial activity. Especially, Cloisite 30B inactivated Gram-positive bacteria completely within an hour of incubation and inactivated Gram-negative bacteria by more than 2–3 log cycles after 8 hours incubation. SEM and TEM images of cell structure indicated that the organically modified nano-clay caused rupture of cell membrane and inactivation of the bacteria. This finding of antimicrobial activity of the organo-clay would open a new opportunity to develop polymer nanocomposites with additional functionality, i.e., antimicrobial function.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2008

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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