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Selective Antimicrobial Activity Associated with Sulfur Nanoparticles

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Many sulfur compounds are known to exhibit widespread antimicrobial activity. The latter is often the result of an intricate redox biochemistry whereby reactive sulfur species, such as organic polysulfanes, interact with pivotal cellular signaling pathways. The S8 unit in elemental sulfur resembles certain aspects of the chemistry of polysulfanes. As a consequence, water-soluble S8-sulfur nanoparticles are active against some smaller organisms, including nematodes, yet are non-toxic against human cells. In contrast, selenium and tellurium nanoparticles are less active. Together, the ease of production of the sulfur nanoparticles, their chemical stability in aqueous dispersion, amenable physical properties and selective toxicity, turn sulfur nanoparticles into promising antimicrobial prototypes for medical as well as agricultural applications.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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  • Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology (JBN) is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal providing broad coverage in all research areas focused on the applications of nanotechnology in medicine, drug delivery systems, infectious disease, biomedical sciences, biotechnology, and all other related fields of life sciences.
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