Potent antibacterial nanoparticles for pathogenic bacteria

Hong Zheng Lai, Wei Yu Chen, Ching Yi Wu, Yu-Chie Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Antibiotic-resistant bacteria have emerged because of the prevalent use of antibacterial agents. Thus, new antibacterial agents and therapeutics that can treat bacterial infections are necessary. Vancomycin is a potent antibiotic. Unfortunately, some bacterial strains have developed their resistance toward vancomycin. Nevertheless, it has been demonstrated that vancomycin-immobilized nanoparticles (NPs) are capable to be used in inhibition of the cell growth of vancomycin-resistant bacterial strains through multivalent interactions. However, multistep syntheses are usually necessary to generate vancomycin-immobilized NPs. Thus, maintaining the antibiotic activity of vancomycin when the drug is immobilized on the surface of NPs is challenging. In this study, a facile approach to generate vancomycin immobilized gold (Van-Au) NPs through one-pot stirring of vancomycin with aqueous tetrachloroauric acid at pH 12 and 25 °C for 24 h was demonstrated. Van-Au NPs (8.4 ± 1.3 nm in size) were readily generated. The generated Van-Au NPs maintained their antibiotic activities and inhibited the cell growth of pathogens, which included Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria as well as antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. Furthermore, the minimum inhibitory concentration of the Van-Au NPs against bacteria was lower than that of free-form vancomycin. Staphylococcus aureus-infected macrophages were used as the model samples to examine the antibacterial activity of the Van-Au NPs. Macrophages have the tendency to engulf Van-Au NPs through endocytosis. The results showed that the cell growth of S. aureus in the macrophages was effectively inhibited, suggesting the potential of using the generated Van-Au NPs as antibacterial agents for bacterial infectious diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2046-2054
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number3
StatePublished - 28 Jan 2015


  • antibiotics
  • gold nanoparticles
  • macrophage
  • pathogenic bacteria
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • vancomycin

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