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Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) are non-toxic and biocompatible materials that are used for a wide range of applications such as pigments, sunscreens, cosmetics, and food colorings. TiO2 possesses a large band gap (3.2 eV) which, by heteroatom doping or by molten salt/hydrogen assisted reduction, can be narrowed to allow for activity within the visible light spectrum making them optimal candidates for use in bacterial biofilm eradication. Nitrogen-doped and reduced TiO2 NPs have been explored in this study due to their narrowed band gap. The narrowed band gap allows for the formation of excitons upon the absorption of light within the visible range. The excited charge carriers are transported to the NP surface where they react to form reactive oxygen species (ROS). These ROS interact with microbial membranes and cause cell wall damage, resulting in cell death. A study by the Samia Lab exploited and improved existing synthetic approaches and post-synthetic processing techniques to produce TiO2 NPs with enhanced visible light photoactivity for anti-biofilm applications using the mode of action described above. The most effective disruption of S. aureus biofilm was observed with the use of treated Nitrogen-doped TiO2 (N-TiO2), which included Magnesium-reduced (Mg-N-TiO2) and Hydrogen annealed Mg-N-TiO2 NPs (H-Mg-N-TiO2 NPs), under visible irradiation over 30 minutes. Future studies hope to expand upon these results with the optimization of reduced N-TiO2 concentration, light excitation intensity, and duration of treatment for a variety of bacterial biofilms.

Symposium Date

Fall 12-1-2012


nanomaterials, biofilm, photoactivity



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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Engineering Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles for Bacterial Biofilm Treatment

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