Copper-functionalized nanostructured silica-based systems: Study of the antimicrobial applications and ROS generation against gram positive and gram negative bacteria
A series of copper-functionalized SBA-15 (Santa Barbara Amorphous) materials containing the ligands triethoxysilylpropylmaleamic acid (maleamic) or triethoxy-3-(2-imidazolin-1-yl)propylsilane (imidazoline) have been prepared. The nanostructured silica-based systems SBA-maleamic, SBA-imidazoline, SBA-maleamic-Cu and SBA-imidazoline-Cu were characterized by several methods observing that the functionalization took place mainly inside the pores of the mesoporous system. The antimicrobial behaviour of the synthesized materials against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli was tested observing a very potent activity of the copperfunctionalized systems (minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) values for SBA-maleamic-Cu of ca. 31.25 μg/mL, which correspond with ca. 1.13 μg/mL of Cu). A study of the oxidative stress promoted by the synthesized materials showed that the SBA-maleamic-Cu and the SBAimidazoline- Cu were able to increase the reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in S. aureus by 427% and 373%, respectively, while this increase was slightly lower in E. coli (387 and 324%, respectively). Furthermore, an electrochemical study was carried out in order to determine if these materials interact with lysine or alanine to validate a potential antimicrobial mechanism based on the inhibition of the synthesis of the peptidoglycan of the bacterial wall. Finally, these studies were also performed to determine the potential interaction of the copper-containing materials with glutathione in order to assess if they are able to perturb the metabolism of this tripeptide.
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