ISSN print edition: 0366-6352
ISSN electronic edition: 1336-9075
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ROS-mediated antibacterial response of ZnO and ZnO containing cerium under light

Alexandro S. Sá, Idglan S. de Lima, Luzia M. Honório, Marcelo B. Furtini, Juliana K. Dionísio de Souza, Francisco Eroni P. dos Santos, Humberto M. Barreto, Thiago G. Tabuti, Edson C. da Silva-Filho, Eduardo R. Triboni, and Josy A. Osajima

Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Advanced Materials – LIMAV, UFPI, Teresina, Brazil



Received: 11 April 2022  Accepted: 13 July 2022


Zinc compounds and derivatives are gaining prominence as antibacterial agents capable of generating oxidative stress and cell death in Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria by reactive oxygen-based species (ROS). ZnO and ZnO–Ce NPs were evaluated against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli in the dark and light. The antibacterial efficiency of ZnO was improved (72%) against S. aureus under irradiation. ROS-mediated oxidative mechanism was proposed to elucidate the effects on membrane structure destruction and functional inactivation of bacteria. ROS exhibited mortality rates against E. coli, indicating that ROS from ZnO plays a key role in the antibacterial activity. The antibacterial activities of the zinc compounds on the bacteria exhibited positive potential due to the discharge interactions of the bacterial surface with the Zn2+ ions and ROS from the semiconductor.

Keywords: Zinc compounds; Antibacterial activity; Reactive oxygen species

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-022-02390-y


Chemical Papers 76 (11) 7051–7060 (2022)

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