Electrically-polarized nanoscale surfaces generate reactive oxygenated and chlorinated species for deactivation of microorganisms

14 June 2024, Version 1


Due to dwindling supply of new antibiotics, recent outbreaks of infectious diseases, and the emergence of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms, it is imperative to develop new effective strategies for deactivating a broad-spectrum of microorganisms and viruses. We have implemented electrically polarized nanoscale metallic coatings (ENM) that deactivate a wide range of microorganisms including Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria with greater than six-log reduction, in less than ten minutes of treatment. The electrically-polarized devices were also effective in deactivating lentivirus and C. albicans. The key to high deactivation effectiveness of ENM devices is electrochemical production of micromolar cuprous ions, which mediated reduction of oxygen to hydrogen peroxide. Formation of highly damaging species, hydroxyl radicals and hypochlorous acid, from hydrogen peroxide contributed to antimicrobial properties of the ENM devices. The electric polarization of nanoscale coatings represents an unconventional tool for deactivating a broad-spectrum of microorganisms through in-situ production of reactive oxygenated and chlorinated species.


Electrical polarization
metallic nanoscale films
reactive oxygenated and chlorinated species
hydroxyl radicals
hydrogen peroxide
and hypochlorous acid
broad-spectrum antimicrobial devices

Supplementary materials

Supplementary Materials
Supplementary figures, tables, calculations, relevant materials and methods section, procedures.


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