Antibacterial action of nanoparticle, illustration

Antibacterial action of nanoparticle, illustration

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Credit: KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mechanism of antibacterial action of nanoparticles, computer illustration. Nanoparticles can form complexes with antibiotic molecules (possible binding sites are orange) and have a number antimicrobial effects. Binding nanoparticles to antibiotic molecules can increase the concentration of antimicrobial agents at the bacterial surface (1). Nanoparticles can act as an antibiotic carrier, facilitating the movement of a hydrophobic antibiotic across the bacterial cell wall (2). Beta-lactam antibiotics destroy the cell wall and increase its permeability to nanoparticles (3). Once within the cell, nanoparticles prevent DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) from unwinding (4). Within the cells nanoparticles interfere with the pumping activity of the NorA transmembrane protein, inhibiting antibiotic efflux from the cell (5).

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