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Antibacterial activity of gold nanorods against Staphylococcus aureus and Propionibacterium acnes: misinterpretations and artifacts

Authors Mahmoud NN, Alkilany AM, Khalil EA, Al-Bakri AG

Received 4 July 2017

Accepted for publication 9 September 2017

Published 9 October 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 7311—7322


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Thomas Webster

Nouf N Mahmoud, Alaaldin M Alkilany, Enam A Khalil, Amal G Al-Bakri

Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology, School of Pharmacy, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan

Abstract: The antibacterial activity of gold nanorod (GNR) suspensions of different surface functionalities was investigated against standard strains of Staphylococcus aureus and Propionibacterium acnes, taking into consideration two commonly "overlooked" factors: the colloidal stability of GNR suspensions upon mixing with bacterial growth media and the possible contribution of "impurities/molecules" in GNR suspensions to the observed antibacterial activity. The results demonstrated that cationic polyallylamine hydrochloride (PAH)-GNR were severely aggregated when exposed to bacterial growth media compared to other GNR suspensions. In addition, the free cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) present in GNR suspensions is most likely the origin of the observed antibacterial activity. However, the antibacterial activity of GNR themselves could not be excluded. Probing these two critical control studies prevents misinterpretations and artifacts of the antibacterial activity of nanoparticles. Unfortunately, these practices are usually ignored in the published studies and may explain the significant conflicting results. In addition, this study indicates that GNR could be a promising candidate for the treatment of skin follicular diseases such as acne vulgaris.

Keywords: antibacterial activity, supernatant, gold nanorods, colloidal stability, artifacts, acne vulgaris

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