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One-minute irradiation of white LED drives halogen/nitrogen co-doped polymeric graphene quantum dots to photodynamic inactivation of bacteria in the infected wound
Carbon  (IF9.594),  Pub Date : 2020-12-01, DOI: 10.1016/j.carbon.2020.11.092
Hao-Hsin Huang, Anisha Anand, Chin-Jung Lin, Han-Jia Lin, Yang-Wei Lin, Scott G. Harroun, Chih-Ching Huang

Abstract Graphene quantum dots (GQDs) are emerging disinfectants, owing to their distinctive photodynamic and antibacterial activities. Halogen-based antimicrobial materials are also known to be effective against infectious pathogens. In this work, we have developed visible light-activatable halogen/nitrogen co-doped polymeric graphene quantum dots [X/N–PGQDs, (X = Cl, Br, I)] as an antibacterial agent, prepared from spermidine and hydrohalic acid by a simple one-step heating method. We demonstrate that these high positively charged X/N–PGQDs are effective antibacterial agents (minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) less than 0.5 μg mL−1) for the inhibition of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The antibacterial activities of X/N–PGQDs are enhanced upon exposure to white LED light irradiation due to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which induce oxidative stress, as well as physical disruption of the bacteria. Moreover, the MIC of X/N–PGQDs with LED light irradiation is 100-fold lower than in the dark, revealing their strong photo-induced inactivation of bacteria. X/N–PGQDs are effective for the eradication of multidrug-resistant bacteria in infectious wounds, even with just one-minute of irradiation. With their negligible cytotoxicity, we believe that X/N–PGQDs have great potential as a visible light-activated antibacterial nanomaterial for preclinical application in wound healing.