Active Light-Powered Antibiofilm ZnO Micromotors with Chemically Programmable Properties

Martina Ussia, Mario Urso, Kristyna Dolezelikova, Hana Michalkova, Vojtech Adam, Martin Pumera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bacterial biofilms are multicellular communities firmly attached to solid extracellular substrates. They are considered the primary cause of huge economic losses, from medicine due to medical implants’ failure to large infrastructure due to enhanced pipe corrosion. Therefore, their eradication is highly desirable. Here, the preparation of ZnO self-propelled micromotors is reported, programming their morphology and motion properties through Ag doping. The ZnO:Ag micromotors actively move upon light irradiation via a self-electrophoretic mechanism, showing excellent light-controlled on/off switching motion. At the same time, the rapid and effective removal of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria biofilms from the solid surface is demonstrated, exploiting the well-known antibacterial activity of both Ag and ZnO as well as the enhanced diffusion of the micromotors. The new concept for the low-cost and scalable preparation of chemically programmable Ag-doped ZnO micromotors here illustrated opens a new route toward the formulation of a new class of light-driven semiconducting self-propelled micromotors for environmental applications.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
M.P. was supported by Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (Czech Republic) grant LL2002 under ERC CZ program. CzechNanoLab project LM2018110, funded by MEYS CR, is gratefully acknowledged for the financial support of measurements/sample fabrication at CEITEC Nano Research Infrastructure. V.A. and K.D. were supported by ERDF “Multidisciplinary research to increase application potential of nanomaterials in agricultural practice” (No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/16_025/0007314). The authors thank Michaela Kuthanova and Tatiana Fialova for broth medium refreshing during culturing of biofilm and viability determination.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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