Antibacterial and Antifungal Activity of ZnO Containing Glasses

PLoS One. 2015 Jul 31;10(7):e0132709. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0132709. eCollection 2015.


A new family of non-toxic biocides based on low melting point (1250°C) transparent glasses with high content of ZnO (15-40wt%) belonging to the miscibility region of the B2O3-SiO2-Na2O-ZnO system has been developed. These glasses have shown an excellent biocide activity (logarithmic reduction >3) against Gram- (E. coli), Gram+ (S. aureus) and yeast (C. krusei); they are chemically stable in different media (distilled water, sea-like water, LB and DMEN media) as well as biocompatible. The cytotoxicity was evaluated by the Neutral Red Uptake using NIH-3T3 (mouse embryonic fibroblast cells) and the cell viability was >80%. These new glasses can be considered in several and important applications in the field of inorganic non-toxic biocide agents such as medical implants, surgical equipment, protective apparels in hospitals, water purifications systems, food packaging, food storages or textiles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Biocompatible Materials / pharmacology*
  • Candida / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Glass / chemistry*
  • Materials Testing
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Zinc Oxide / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Zinc Oxide

Grant support

This study has been supported by Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) project reference number 201360E012 and by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation MAT2012-38645. C. Prado and B. Cabal acknowledge financial support from JAE-Doc program (CSIC, cofounded by FSE). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.