In this study, catalytic generation of nitric oxide by a copper(II) complex embedded within a poly(vinyl chloride) matrix in the presence of nitrite (source of nitric oxide) and ascorbic acid (reducing agent) was shown to effectively control the formation and dispersion of nitrifying bacteria biofilms. Amperometric measurements indicated increased and prolonged generation of nitric oxide with the addition of the copper complex when compared to that with nitrite and ascorbic acid alone. The effectiveness of the copper complex–nitrite–ascorbic acid system for biofilm control was quantified using protein analysis, which showed enhanced biofilm suppression when the copper complex was used in comparison to that with nitrite and ascorbic acid treatment alone. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and LIVE/DEAD staining revealed a reduction in cell surface coverage without a loss of viability with the copper complex and up to 5 mM of nitrite and ascorbic acid, suggesting that the nitric oxide generated from the system inhibits proliferation of the cells on surfaces. Induction of nitric oxide production by the copper complex system also triggered the dispersal of pre-established biofilms. However, the addition of a high concentration of nitrite and ascorbic acid to a pre-established biofilm induced bacterial membrane damage and strongly decreased the metabolic activity of planktonic and biofilm cells, as revealed by CLSM with LIVE/DEAD staining and intracellular adenosine triphosphate measurements, respectively. This study highlights the utility of the catalytic generation of nitric oxide for the long-term suppression and removal of nitrifying bacterial biofilms.
Wonoputri, V, Gunawan, C, Liu, S, Barraud, N, Yee, LH, Lim, M & Amal, R 2015, 'Copper complex in poly(vinyl chloride) as a nitric oxide-generating catalyst for the control of nitrifying bacterial biofilms', ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, vol. 7, no. 40, pp. 22148-22156.
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