Effect of ZnO and TiO₂ nanoparticles preilluminated with UVA and UVB light on Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis.Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2012 Jul; 95(1):243-53.AM
We evaluated the effects of zinc oxide (ZnO) and titanium dioxide (TiO₂) nanoparticles (NPs) preilluminated with ultraviolet light on Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. The experiments were conducted using three different types of light: visible, Ultraviolet A (UVA, 315-400 nm), and Ultraviolet B (UVB, 280-315 nm). The bacteria were exposed to NPs, either as liquid suspensions for growth inhibition assays or on agar plates for colony forming unit (CFU) assays. We found that the ZnO NPs were more toxic when preilluminated with UVA or UVB light than with visible light in both growth inhibition and CFU assays. TiO₂ NPs were not toxic to the bacteria under UVA or UVB preillumination conditions. The photo-dissolution of ZnO NPs increased with UV preillumination, which could explain the observed toxicity of ZnO NPs. We detected oxidative stress elicited by photoactive nanoparticles by measuring superoxide dismutase activity. The results of this study show that the toxicity of photoactive nanoparticles can be increased by UV preillumination by dissolution of toxic ions, which suggests the potential for preillumination-dependent toxicity of nanoparticles on soil environments in low light or darkness.