This content will become publicly available on October 1, 2023
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Björkroth, Johanna (Ed.)ABSTRACT Foodborne pathogens have long been recognized as major challenges for the food industry and repeatedly implicated in food product recalls and outbreaks of foodborne diseases. This study demonstrated the application of a recently discovered class of visible-light-activated carbon-based nanoparticles, namely, carbon dots (CDots), for photodynamic inactivation of foodborne pathogens. The results demonstrated that CDots were highly effective in the photoinactivation of Listeria monocytogenes in suspensions and on stainless steel surfaces. However, it was much less effective for Salmonella cells, but treatments with higher CDot concentrations and longer times were still able to inactivate Salmonella cells. The mechanistic implications of the observed different antibacterial effects on the two types of cells were assessed, and the associated generation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), the resulting lipid peroxidation, and the leakage of nucleic acid and proteins from the treated cells were analyzed, with the results collectively suggesting CDots as a class of promising photodynamic inactivation agents for foodborne pathogens. IMPORTANCE Foodborne infectious diseases have long been recognized as major challenges in public health. Contaminations of food processing facilities and equipment with foodborne pathogens occur often. There is a critical need for new tools/approaches to control the pathogens and prevent such contaminationsmore »
For addressing the ever increasing challenge of multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacterial infections, specifically designed and prepared carbon dots (CDots) of small carbon nanoparticles with surface functionalization–passivation by oligomeric polyethylenimine were found to be readily activated by visible light to effectively and efficiently inactivate MDR bacterial strains. The inactivation was evaluated under various combinations of experimental conditions (dot concentrations, light intensities, and treatment times), with the results collectively suggesting CDots as a new class of promising agents for combating MDR bacteria. Mechanistic origins and implications of the observed strong antibacterial actions as relevant to the photoexcited state processes in CDots and the photodynamically induced cellular damages leading to the death of the bacterial cells were explored, with the results discussed.
Visible Light-Activated Carbon Dots for Inhibiting Biofilm Formation and Inactivating Biofilm-Associated Bacterial CellsThis study aimed to address the significant problems of bacterial biofilms found in medical fields and many industries. It explores the potential of classic photoactive carbon dots (CDots), with 2,2′-(ethylenedioxy)bis (ethylamine) (EDA) for dot surface functionalization (thus, EDA-CDots) for their inhibitory effect on B. subtilis biofilm formation and the inactivation of B. subtilis cells within established biofilm. The EDA-CDots were synthesized by chemical functionalization of selected small carbon nanoparticles with EDA molecules in amidation reactions. The inhibitory efficacy of CDots with visible light against biofilm formation was dependent significantly on the time point when CDots were added; the earlier the CDots were added, the better the inhibitory effect on the biofilm formation. The evaluation of antibacterial action of light-activated EDA-CDots against planktonic B. subtilis cells versus the cells in biofilm indicate that CDots are highly effective for inactivating planktonic cells but barely inactivate cells in established biofilms. However, when coupling with chelating agents (e.g., EDTA) to target the biofilm architecture by breaking or weakening the EPS protection, much enhanced photoinactivation of biofilm-associated cells by CDots was achieved. The study demonstrates the potential of CDots to prevent the initiation of biofilm formation and to inhibit biofilm growth at an early stage.more »
Upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) convert low‐energy infrared (IR) or near‐infrared (NIR) photons into high‐energy emission radiation ranging from ultraviolet to visible through a photon upconversion process. In comparison to conventional fluorophores, such as organic dyes or semiconductor quantum dots, lanthanide‐ion‐doped UCNPs exhibit high photostability, no photoblinking, no photobleaching, low cytotoxicity, sharp emission lines, and long luminescent lifetimes. Additionally, the use of IR or NIR for excitation in such UCNPs reduces the autofluorescence background and enables deeper penetration into biological samples due to reduced light scattering with negligible damage to the samples. Because of these attributes, UCNPs have found numerous potential applications in biological and medicinal fields as novel fluorescent materials. Different upconversion mechanisms commonly observed in UCNPs, various methods that are used in their synthesis, and surface modification processes are discussed. Recent applications of Ln‐UCNPs in the biological and medicinal fields, including in vivo and in vitro biological imaging, multimodal imaging, photodynamic therapy, drug delivery, and antibacterial activity, are also presented.
Carbon dots (CDots) of small carbon nanoparticles with oligomeric polyethylenimine for surface functionalization, coupled with visible light exposure, were found highly effective in the inactivation of bacterial pathogens. In this study, using a representative strain of a major foodborne pathogen – Listeria monocytogenes , as a target, the effects of the CDots treatment at sublethal concentrations on bacterial functions/behaviors related to the biofilm formation ability/potential, including cell attachment and swimming motility, were assessed. On the consequence at molecular level, the expression levels of the genes that are related to cell attachment/adhesion, motility, flagellar synthesis, quorum sensing, and environmental stress response and virulence were found all being up-regulated.