The controversial antibacterial activity of graphene-based materials

Hanaa M. Hegab, Ahmed Elmekawy, Linda Zou, Dennis Mulcahy, Christopher P. Saint, Milena Ginic-Markovic

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

238 Scopus citations


Graphene (Gr)-based materials are a promising nanomaterial for the development of antibacterial surfaces owing to their biocidal activity. However, the effect of the physicochemical features of these materials on their antibacterial activity has yet to be clarified. Gr-based nanomaterials can interact with cellular components, e.g. membranes, proteins and DNA, and initiate a sequence of nanomaterials/bacterial interactions that rely on colloidal energies and active bio-physicochemical interfaces. Analyzing these different interfaces permits the development of anticipated relations between physical/chemical structure and bactericidal activity depending on Gr-based nanomaterial features such as shape, size, hydrophilicity, roughness and functionality. Realizing how nanomaterials are interacting with bacterial cell membranes is correlated to how they affect bactericidal activity and is thus critical for obtaining benign applications. This review analytically discusses specific Gr-based material features related to bacterial interactions, with special focus on the different modes of interaction between Gr-based materials and cell membranes, nucleic acids and lipid bilayers.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)362-376
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'The controversial antibacterial activity of graphene-based materials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this