Graphene matrices as carriers for metal ions against antibiotic susceptible and resistant bacterial pathogens

Anthony J. Slate, Nathalie Karaky, Grace S. Crowther, Jonathan A. Butler, Craig E. Banks, Andrew J. McBain, Kathryn A. Whitehead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (SciVal)


Due to the ever-increasing burden of antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) bacteria, the development of novel antimicrobial agents and biomaterials to act as carriers and/or potentiate antimicrobial activity is essential. This study assessed the antimicrobial efficacy of the following ionic metals, silver, gold, palladium, platinum, zinc, and gallium alone and in combination with graphene matrices (which were coated via a drop casting coating method). The graphene foam was utilized as a carrier for the ionic metals against both, antibiotic susceptible and resistant bacterial strains of Acinetobac-ter baumannii, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Ionic gold, palladium and platinum demonstrated the greatest antimicrobial activity against the susceptible and resistant strains. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) visualized cellular ultrastructure damage, when the bacteria were incubated upon the graphene foam alone. This study suggests that specific metal ions applied in combination with graphene foam could present a potential therapeutic option to treat AMR bacterial infections. The application of the graphene foam as a potential carrier could promote antimicrobial activity, provide a sustained release approach and reduce possible resistance acquisition. In light of this study, the graphene foam and ionic metal combinations could potentially be further developed as part of a wound dressing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number352
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This work was funded by a Health Research Accelerator Award courtesy of the University of Manchester.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Biomaterials
  • Foams
  • Graphene
  • Metal ions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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