Metal-Free Antibacterial Additives Based on Graphene Materials and Salicylic Acid: From the Bench to Fabric Applications

Giacomo Biagiotti, Annalisa Salvatore, Gianluca Toniolo, Lucrezia Caselli, Maura Di Vito, Margherita Cacaci, Luca Contiero, Tommaso Gori, Michele Maggini, Maurizio Sanguinetti, Debora Berti, Francesca Bugli, Barbara Richichi, Stefano Cicchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The custom functionalization of a graphene surface allows access to engineered nanomaterials with improved colloidal stability and tailored specific properties, which are available to be employed in a wide range of applications ranging from materials to life science. The high surface area and their intrinsic physical and biological properties make reduced graphene oxide and graphene oxide unique materials for the custom functionalization with bioactive molecules by exploiting different surface chemistries. In this work, preparation (on the gram scale) of reduced graphene oxide and graphene oxide derivatives functionalized with the well-known antibacterial agent salicylic acid is reported. The salicylic acid functionalities offered a stable colloidal dispersion and, in addition, homogeneous absorption on a sample of textile manufacture (i.e., cotton fabrics), as shown by a Raman spectroscopy study, thus providing nanoengineered materials with significant antibacterial activity toward different strains of microorganisms. Surprisingly, graphene surface functionalization also ensured resistance to detergent washing treatments as verified on a model system using the quartz crystal microbalance technique. Therefore, our findings paved the way for the development of antibacterial additives for cotton fabrics in the absence of metal components, thus limiting undesirable side effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26288-26298
Number of pages11
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Jun 9 2021


  • antibacterial activity
  • ball milling
  • cotton fabrics
  • graphene
  • graphene oxide
  • quartz crystal microbalance
  • Raman
  • salicylic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Metal-Free Antibacterial Additives Based on Graphene Materials and Salicylic Acid: From the Bench to Fabric Applications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this