An antibacterial platform based on capacitive carbon-doped TiO2nanotubes after direct or alternating current charging

Guomin Wang, Hongqing Feng, Liangsheng Hu, Weihong Jin, Qi Hao, Ang Gao, Xiang Peng, Wan Li, Kwok Yin Wong, Huaiyu Wang, Zhou Li, Paul K. Chu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


Electrical interactions between bacteria and the environment are delicate and essential. In this study, an external electrical current is applied to capacitive titania nanotubes doped with carbon (TNT-C) to evaluate the effects on bacteria killing and the underlying mechanism is investigated. When TNT-C is charged, post-charging antibacterial effects proportional to the capacitance are observed. This capacitance-based antibacterial system works well with both direct and alternating current (DC, AC) and the higher discharging capacity in the positive DC (DC+) group leads to better antibacterial performance. Extracellular electron transfer observed during early contact contributes to the surface-dependent post-charging antibacterial process. Physiologically, the electrical interaction deforms the bacteria morphology and elevates the intracellular reactive oxygen species level without impairing the growth of osteoblasts. Our finding spurs the design of light-independent antibacterial materials and provides insights into the use of electricity to modify biomaterials to complement other bacteria killing measures such as light irradiation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2055
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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