Synthesis and characterization of zinc and copper oxide nanoparticles and their antibacterial activity

Submitting author affiliation:
University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana

Beilstein Arch. 2020, 202012.

Published 22 Jan 2020

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This preprint has not been peer-reviewed. When a peer-reviewed version is available, this information will be updated.


Inorganic nano-metal oxides can be effective alternatives to drug resistant organic antibiotics due to their broad spectrum antimicrobial activity against pathogenic and mutagenic gram-negative and positive bacteria.  In this study, zinc and copper oxides (ZnO and CuO) were synthesized using a facile wet chemical method. The oxide nanoparticles were characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV-Vis spectrometer (UV-Vis), Fourier Transformed Infra-red spectrometer and Transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The antibacterial activities of the nanoparticles were investigated against e. coli and s. aureus using the disk diffusion and microdilution tests. The XRD analysis revealed that both zinc and copper oxide nanoparticles were purely crystalline. The TEM micrographs showed that copper oxide nanoparticles assumed a nanorod shape of average length of 100 nm.  Whiles zinc oxide nanoparticles were spherical of average diameter of 15 nm. The FTIR results showed that the nanoparticles were free of impurities and organic surfactants. The optical band gaps of CuO and ZnO according to UV-Vis analysis were respectively 2.63 eV and 3.22 eV. According to the antibacteria tests, the minimum inhibition concentration (MIC) of CuO against e. coli and s. aureus were correspondingly 1mg/ml and 0.25 mg/ml whiles it was 0.1mg/ml for ZnO against s. aureus but ZnO produced no inhibition against e. coli. With the microdilution test, both nanoparticles exhibited activity against both bacteria species at all varying concentrations. CuO had an antibacteria efficiency of 80 to 97% and 85 to 99% for e. coli and s. aureus respectively. The efficiency of ZnO were 20 to 90% and 50 to 89% for e. coli and s. aureus accordingly. The results concluded that CuO had higher antibacteria activity as compared to ZnO.

Keywords: Antibacteria; nanoparticles; disk diffusion test; optical density test

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When a peer-reviewed version of this preprint is available, this information will be updated in the information box above. If no peer-reviewed version is available, please cite this preprint using the following information:

Asamoah, R. B.; Yaya, A.; Mensah, B.; Nbelayim, P.; Apalangya, V.; Bensah, Y. D.; Damoah, L. N.; Agyei-Tuffour, B.; Dodoo-Arhin, D.; Annan, E. Beilstein Arch. 2020, 202012. doi:10.3762/bxiv.2020.12.v1

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