Advances in catalytic/photocatalytic bacterial inactivation by nano Ag and Cu coated surfaces and medical devices

Sami Rtimi*, Dionysios D. Dionysiou, Suresh C. Pillai, John Kiwi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

110 Citations (Scopus)


The design, synthesis, fundamentals and evaluation of 2D/3D antimicrobial surfaces are addressed in detail in the current review. Recent advances in the antimicrobial mechanism, kinetics and properties of Ag, Cu and Ag-Cu surfaces in the dark and under light irradiation are described and discussed. The structure-reactivity relations in the catalyst/photocatalyst layers were described by way of the surface characterization and the observed antibacterial kinetics. Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus MRSA bacteria are selected as model pathogens to evaluate the antimicrobial inactivation kinetics. The separate antimicrobial properties of ions and the antimicrobial surface-contact effects are presented in a detailed way. The interfacial charge transfer (IFCT) mechanism and the identification of the most relevant reactive oxygen species (ROS) leading to bacterial disinfection are considered. The recently developed monitoring of the changes of the film surface potential (Eigenvalues) during bacterial inactivation and the redox reactions associated with catalyst/photocatalyst surfaces are also presented. The potential for practical applications of these innovative 2D films and 3D sputtered medical devices in health-care facilities are accounted for in the present review.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-318
Number of pages28
JournalApplied Catalysis B: Environmental
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibacterial surfaces
  • Catalytic/Photocatalytic surfaces
  • Medical devices
  • Metal oxides
  • Silver and copper
  • Titanium dioxide (TiO)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Environmental Science
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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