Antibacterial Properties of Graphene Oxide-Copper Oxide Nanoparticle Nanocomposites

Piumie Rajapaksha, Samuel Cheeseman, Stuart Hombsch, Billy James Murdoch, Sheeana Gangadoo, Ewan W. Blanch, Yen Truong, Daniel Cozzolino, Chris F. McConville, Russell J. Crawford, Vi Khanh Truong, Aaron Elbourne, James Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


The resistance of pathogenic bacteria toward traditional biocidal treatment methods is a growing concern in various settings, including that of water treatment and in the medical industry. As such, advanced antibacterial technologies are needed to prevent infections, against which current antibiotics are failing. This study introduces copper oxide nanoparticles (CuONPs) doped in graphene oxide (GO) as a potential pathogenic bacterial treatment. The aim of the study was to evaluate the antibacterial properties of the GO-CuONP hybridized material against pathogenic Escherichia coli ATCC 8739 (E. coli) and Salmonella typhimurium ATCC 14028 (S. typhimurium). GO was synthesized using a modified Hummer's method and doped with 40% w/w CuONPs using a series of thermal chemical reactions. The resulting hybrids were then characterized using scanning electron microscopic (SEM) and spectroscopic studies. These studies revealed that the hybrid material was considerably altered by the inclusion of CuONPs. The live and dead bacteria attached to the GO-CuONP material were detected using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). The antibacterial activity assay of the GO-CuONP material was conducted using a standard plate count method. Importantly, the GO-CuONP nanocomposite was determined to be an effective antibacterial nanomaterial, significantly inhibiting the growth of both E. coli and S. typhimurium bacteria compared to that observed on the pristine GO material. This study suggests that GO-CuONP composites are a promising high-efficacy antibacterial nanomaterial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5687-5696
Number of pages10
JournalACS Applied Bio Materials
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • 2D material
  • copper oxide
  • Escherichia coli
  • graphene oxide
  • nanoparticles
  • Salmonella typhimurium


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