Rapid synthesis of bismuth-organic frameworks as selective antimicrobial materials against microbial biofilms

Regina Huang, Zhiwen Zhou, Xinmiao Lan, Fung Kit Tang, Tianfan Cheng, Hongzhe Sun, Ken Cham-Fai Leung, Xuan Li*, Lijian Jin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Antibiotic resistance is a global public health threat, and urgent actions should be undertaken for developing alternative antimicrobial strategies and approaches. Notably, bismuth drugs exhibit potent antimicrobial effects on various pathogens and promising efficacy in tackling SARS-CoV-2 and related infections. As such, bismuth-based materials could precisely combat pathogenic bacteria and effectively treat the resultant infections and inflammatory diseases through a controlled release of Bi ions for targeted drug delivery. Currently, it is a great challenge to rapidly and massively manufacture bismuth-based particles, and yet there are no reports on effectively constructing such porous antimicrobial-loaded particles. Herein, we have developed two rapid approaches (i.e., ultrasound-assisted and agitation-free methods) to synthesizing bismuth-based materials with ellipsoid- (Ellipsoids) and rod-like (Rods) morphologies respectively, and fully characterized physicochemical properties. Rods with a porous structure were confirmed as bismuth metal-organic frameworks (Bi-MOF) and aligned with the crystalline structure of CAU-17. Importantly, the formation of Rods was a ‘two-step’ crystallization process of growing almond-flake-like units followed by stacking into the rod-like structure. The size of Bi-MOF was precisely controlled from micro-to nano-scales by varying concentrations of metal ions and their ratio to the ligand. Moreover, both Ellipsoids and Rods showed excellent biocompatibility with human gingival fibroblasts and potent antimicrobial effects on the Gram-negative oral pathogens including Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum. Both Ellipsoids and Rods at 50 ​μg/mL could disrupt the bacterial membranes, and particularly eliminate P. gingivalis biofilms. This study demonstrates highly efficient and facile approaches to synthesizing bismuth-based particles. Our work could enrich the administration modalities of metallic drugs for promising antibiotic-free healthcare.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100507
Number of pages16
JournalMaterials Today Bio
Early online date1 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cell Biology
  • Biomaterials

User-Defined Keywords

  • Antibacterial effects
  • CAU-17
  • Crystallization
  • Gram-negative pathogens
  • Metal-organic frameworks
  • Room-temperature synthesis


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