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Developing antibiotics-independent antibacterial agents is of great importance since antibiotic therapy faces great challenges from drug resistance. Graphene oxide (GO) is a promising agent due to its natural antibacterial mechanisms, such as sharp edge-mediated cutting effect. However, the antibacterial activity of GO is limited by its negative charge and low photothermal effect. Herein, the amino-functionalized GO nanosheets (AGO) with unique three-in-one properties were synthesized. Three essential properties (positive charge, strong photothermal effect, and natural cutting effect) were integrated into AGO. The positive charge (30 mV) rendered AGO a strong interaction force with model pathogen Streptococcus mutans (330 nN). The natural cutting effect of 100 μg·mL-1 AGO caused 27% loss of bacterial viability after incubation for 30 min. Most importantly, upon the near-infrared irradiation for just 5 min, the three-in-one properties of AGO caused 98% viability loss. In conclusion, the short irradiation period and the tunable antibacterial activity confer the three-in-one AGO a great potential for clinical use.

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Publication history

Received: 05 June 2020
Revised: 20 August 2020
Accepted: 22 August 2020
Published: 05 January 2021
Issue date: January 2021

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© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 81973261 and U19A2005), the Foundation of West China Hospital of Stomatology (No. RD-02-201903), and the Research Funding for Talents Developing, West China Hospital of Stomatology, Sichuan University (No. RCDWJS2020-7).

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Email: nanores@tup.tsinghua.edu.cn

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