Multifunctional quaternized carbon dots with enhanced biofilm penetration and eradication efficiencies

We report the applications of metal-free quaternized carbon dots in imaging and eliminating bacterial biofilms

Huan-Huan Ran; Xiaotong Cheng; Yan-Wen Bao; Xian-Wu Hua; Ge Gao; Xiaodong Zhang; Yao-Wen Jiang; Ya-Xuan Zhu; Fu-Gen Wu


Scholarcy highlights

  • Biofilm formation can lead to the treatment failure of persistent bacterial infections
  • A variety of antibacterial agents have been developed, the restricted drug penetration and the embedded bacteria's potentiated recalcitrance to these agents synergistically lead to the unsatisfactory anti-biofilm effect
  • The small size of the carbon dots endows them with the penetration ability into the interior of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial biofilms, which enables excellent fluorescence imaging of the biofilms
  • We synthesize a new type of quaternized CDs without long alkyl chains, and validate that the long alkyl chains potentiate the hydrophobic adhesion between CDs and Gram-positive bacteria
  • The crystal violet staining results reveal that the cationic CDs inhibit the formation of Gram-positive bacterial biofilms
  • Our work highlights the feasibility of using cationic and ultrasmall metal-free carbon dots to eliminate and inhibit Gram-positive bacterial biofilms, which represents a highly effective strategy to cope with refractory biofilm-associated infections

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