Engineering Gram Selectivity of Mixed-Charge Gold Nanoparticles by Tuning the Balance of Surface Charges.

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Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English), ISSN: 1521-3773, Vol: 55, Issue: 30, Page: 8610-4

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Pillai, Pramod P.; Kowalczyk, Bartlomiej; Kandere-Grzybowska, Kristiana; Borkowska, Magdalena; Grzybowski, Bartosz A.
Wiley-Blackwell; WILEY-V C H VERLAG GMBH
Chemical Engineering; Chemistry; antibiotics; Gram specificity; ligands; nanoparticles; surface charge
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article description
Nanoparticles covered with ligand shells comprising both positively and negatively charged ligands exhibit Gram-selective antibacterial action controlled by a single experimental parameter, namely the proportion of [+] and [-] ligands tethered onto these particles. Gram selectivity is attributed to the interplay between polyvalent electrostatic and non-covalent interactions that work in unison to disrupt the bacterial cell wall. The [+/-] nanoparticles are effective in low doses, are non-toxic to mammalian cells, and are tolerated well in mice. These results constitute the first example of rational engineering of Gram selectivity at the (macro)molecular level.