Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 1007–1017 | Cite as

Generation of reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress in Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus by a novel semiconductor catalyst

  • K. L. Chow
  • N. K. Mak
  • M. H. Wong
  • X. F. Zhou
  • Y. Liang
Research Paper


The objective of this study was to investigate antimicrobial mechanisms of a new catalytic material (charge transfer auto oxidation–reduction type catalyst, CT catalyst) that may have great potential for application in water/wastewater treatment. Generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in bacteria-free solution, induction of ROS and oxidative damage in bacteria (including E. coli and S. aureus) were examined for the CT catalyst. The results showed that significantly higher (p < 0.05, via t-test) amount of hydroxyl radicals was generated by the CT catalyst compared with the control, particularly after 6 h of contact time that more than twice of the amount of the control was produced. The generation of ROS in the bacteria was greater under higher pH and temperature levels, which closely related with the oxidative damage in cells. The results indicated that CT catalyst induced oxidative damage in the bacteria might serve as an important mechanism interpreting the anti-microbial function of the CT catalyst.


Superoxide anions Hydroxyl radicals Lipid peroxidation Protein oxidation Antibacterial activity Charge transfer auto oxidation–reduction type catalyst 



Financial support from the Faculty Research Grant, Hong Kong Baptist University (No. FRG/08-09/II-34) is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. L. Chow
    • 1
  • N. K. Mak
    • 1
  • M. H. Wong
    • 1
  • X. F. Zhou
    • 2
  • Y. Liang
    • 1
  1. 1.Croucher Institute for Environmental Sciences and the Department of BiologyHong Kong Baptist UniversityHong KongPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of Environmental Science and EngineeringTongji UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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