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Tea–Essential Oil–Metal Hybrid Nanocoatings for Bacterial and Viral Inactivation

Cox, Harrison J.; Sharples, Gary J.; Badyal, Jas Pal S.

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Harrison J. Cox


Natural plant-derived antimicrobial nanocoatings have been synthesized by mixing brewed tea with cinnamaldehyde oil. Concurrent addition of copper or silver salts produces hybrid tea–cinnamaldehyde–copper or tea–cinnamaldehyde–silver nanocoatings, respectively. Tea–cinnamaldehyde, tea–cinnamaldehyde–copper, and tea–cinnamaldehyde–silver coatings are all found to display strong antibacterial efficacy against both Gram-negative Escherichia coli and Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus (Log10 Reduction = 8.44 and 7.90, respectively). Tea–cinnamaldehyde–copper and tea–cinnamaldehyde–silver hybrid nanocoatings deposited onto nonwoven polypropylene provide 98.6 and 99.8% deactivation, respectively, toward murine coronavirus MHV-A59 (a potential surrogate for COVID-19 global pandemic coronavirus SARS-CoV-2). Key advantages of this approach are that the coating fabrication involves just a single step, utilizes cheap reagents (which are widely available over the counter to the general public), does not require any equipment apart from a container, and the coatings spontaneously adhere to a variety of substrate materials (including silicon, glass, polyester, nonwoven polypropylene, poly(tetrafluoroethylene), and cotton). Tea is one of the most ubiquitous beverages in the world, meaning that these antimicrobial coatings could be produced locally almost anywhere and by anyone without the need for any specialized technical training or expertize (for example, at remote field hospitals during humanitarian crises and in low-income countries).


Cox, H. J., Sharples, G. J., & Badyal, J. P. S. (2021). Tea–Essential Oil–Metal Hybrid Nanocoatings for Bacterial and Viral Inactivation. ACS Applied Nano Material, 4(11), 12619-12628.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 7, 2021
Online Publication Date Oct 22, 2021
Publication Date Nov 26, 2021
Deposit Date Feb 1, 2022
Publicly Available Date Feb 1, 2022
Journal ACS applied nano materials.
Electronic ISSN 2574-0970
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 11
Pages 12619-12628


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