Membrane Science

Probing antifouling by graphene oxide

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Science  15 May 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6236, pp. 769
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6236.769-g

Graphene oxide (GO) surfaces have antibacterial properties, but they are not due to any known specific physical interactions with cells. Because GO is toxic to bacteria, it has been proposed as an antifouling material for membranes during water purification. To test the hypothesis that GO physically disrupts or binds to cells, Romero-Vargas Castrillón et al. measured the physical interactions between GO-coated atomic force microscope probes and Escherichia coli cells. Other than occasional lipopolysaccharide binding events, the forces of interaction are mostly repulsive. Other modes of action, such as oxidative stress, therefore are likely to be responsible for GO toxicity.

Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett. 10.1021/acs.estlett.5b00066 (2015).

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