Exploring the potential of magnetic antimicrobial agents for water disinfection

Pina, AS, Batalha ÍL, Fernandes CSM, Aoki MA, Roque ACA.  2014.  Exploring the potential of magnetic antimicrobial agents for water disinfection. Water Research. 66:160–168.


Industrial and urban activities yield large amounts of contaminated groundwater, which present a major health issue worldwide. Infectious diseases are the most common health risk associated with drinking-water and wastewater remediation is a major concern of our modern society. The field of wastewater treatment is being revolutionized by new nano-scale water disinfection devices which outperform most currently available technologies. In particular, iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) have been widely used in environmental applications due to their unique physical–chemical properties. In this work, poly(ethylene) glycol (PEG)-coated MNPs have been functionalized with (RW)3, an antimicrobial peptide, to yield a novel magnetic-responsive support with antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli K-12 DSM498 and Bacillus subtilis 168. The magnetic-responsive antimicrobial device showed to be able to successfully disinfect the surrounding solution. Using a rapid high-throughput screening platform, the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined to be 500 μM for both strains with a visible bactericidal effect.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2014.08.024