Role of surface charge in enhancing antibacterial activity of fluorescent carbon dots.
AbstractHerein, different surface charged carbon dots (Cdots) were synthesized by using diethylene glycol as a carbon source with various amine containing surface passivating agents. The synthesis method is very simple and fast microwave oven-based, that results in almost similar sized positive, negative and uncharged fluorescent Cdots which has been confirmed by zeta potential analysis in our case. The formation of Cdots was confirmed by characterization using fluorescence spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, XRD, FT-IR, and XPS spectroscopy. To find out relative bactericidal activity of these Cdots, green fluorescence protein expressing recombinant E. coli bacteria were taken as a model system. Time-dependent bacterial growth and FACS study demonstrated that both uncharged Cdots and positively charged Cdots were showing better bactericidal activity as compared to negative charged Cdots. The Cdots caused elevation of reactive oxygen species level, which is possibly leading to bacterial cell death.