Fabrication and antimicrobial performance of surfaces integrating graphene-based materials

P.C. Henriques, I. Borges, A.D. Moreira Pinto, F.D. Magalhães, I.C. Gonçalves

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


Although graphene-based materials (GBMs) have been thoroughly explored, their use in antimicrobial surfaces is still a developing field. This review overviews the different methods for fabricating GBMs-containing surfaces (free-standing films, coatings or bulk composites) and their antibacterial properties. The difficulty in controlling the broad number of factors affecting interactions between GBMs and bacteria hampers the establishment of clear cause-effect relations. Nevertheless, it is clear that GBMs size, exposure, oxidation, as well as surface conductivity and roughness are the main surface features influencing the antimicrobial properties. Depending on the production method, GBMs basal planes and/or sharp edges are exposed, having a major impact on bacteria through electron transference, piercing of the membrane or pore formation, amongst others. Each of these effects leads to production of oxidative stress and/or bacterial membrane disruption and, consequently, to bacterial death. While oxidized graphene-containing surfaces are antimicrobial when either basal planes or sharp edges are exposed, graphene-containing surfaces are mainly effective when sharp edges are protruding, except for few studies showing effect due to graphene basal planes when coated over conductive materials. As such, this review enlightens and clarifies the surface features most strongly affecting bacteria, providing researchers the necessary tools to produce antibacterial GBMs-containing surfaces with tuned mechanisms of action.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-732
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


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