Gallium Liquid Metal: Nanotoolbox for Antimicrobial Applications

Vi Khanh Truong, Andrew Hayles, Richard Bright, Trong Quan Luu, Michael D. Dickey, Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh, Krasimir Vasilev

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The proliferation of drug resistance in microbial pathogens poses a significant threat to human health. Hence, treatment measures are essential to surmount this growing problem. In this context, liquid metal nanoparticles are promising. Gallium, a post-transition metal notable for being a liquid at physiological temperature, has drawn attention for its distinctive properties, high antimicrobial efficacy, and low toxicity. Moreover, gallium nanoparticles demonstrate anti-inflammatory properties in immune cells. Gallium can alloy with other metals and be prepared in various composites to modify and tailor its characteristics and functionality. More importantly, the bactericidal mechanism of gallium liquid metal could sidestep the threat of emerging drug resistance mechanisms. Building on this rationale, gallium-based liquid metal nanoparticles can enable impactful and innovative strategic pathways in the battle against antimicrobial resistance. This review outlines the characteristics of gallium-based liquid metals at the nanoscale and their corresponding antimicrobial mechanisms to provide a comprehensive yet succinct overview of their current antimicrobial applications. In addition, challenges and opportunities that require further research efforts have been identified and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14406-14423
Number of pages18
JournalACS nano
Issue number15
Early online date28 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2023


  • anti-inflammatory
  • antibacterial
  • antimicrobial
  • EGaIn
  • Galinstan
  • gallium
  • liquid metal
  • nanodroplets
  • nanoparticles


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