Graphene-based antibacterial paper has food packaging potential

Monday 26 July 2010

New antibacterial paper made from graphene-based nanomaterials could be used in food packaging to extend shelf-life, said Chinese scientists.

The researchers from Shanghai university said it had developed two water-based dispersible graphene derivatives can “effectively inhibit the growth of E.coli” that have minimal toxic effects on harming cells – so-called cytotoxicity.

Graphene is a monolayer of carbon atoms tightly-packed into a two-dimensional crystal. This nanomaterial possesses “very high material stiffness”, said Chunhai Fan et al in their study Graphene-based Antibacterial Paper published in the journal ACS Nano.

The research examined grapheme oxide (GO) and reduced grapheme oxide (rGO) nanosheets for their antibacterial properties and ease of fabrication.

Evaluating the interactions between GO and bacterial and mammalian cells, Chunhai’s team said their experiments demonstrated the “excellent antibacterial activity and minimal cytotoxicity of GO sheets”. They added that they found macroscopic antibacterial grapheme-based paper can be “conveniently fabricated with superior inhibition ability to bacteria growth”. Such properties suggest the technology could provide carbon nanomaterials that were green, cheap and highly effective.

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