Researchers at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics (Novosibirsk) have discovered antibacterial properties in a nano-material developed by the Nikolayev Institute of Nonorganic Chemistry.
The chemists have discovered a method of creating vertically-orientated tabular nano-particles of hexagonal boron nitride structurally similar to graphite, at a relatively low temperature, the Institute of Cytology and Genetics reported.
As a result of changes in the nano-particles’ orientation the material acquired new properties which its authors say can kill bacteria. The new material also emits light if bombarded by electrons.
The antibacterial properties of the new material were tested by placing a drop containing a bacterial suspension on its surface. After a 60-minute incubation period researchers counted the number of bacteria that have survived. It was established that contact with the vertically orientated nanoparticles of nitride kills more than half of the bacteria.
“We think that the antibacterial effect is due to the mechanical damage of the cell membrane of bacteria upon contact with h-BN nano-particles (hexagonal boron nitride). The sharp tops of these particles can be likened to a knife blade which destroys objects upon contact,”
Tatyana Frolova, a researcher at the genetic engineering laboratory of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics, was quoted as saying.
“The new material can be used as an antibacterial coating for medical instruments.”