5 Citations (Scopus)


Nanomaterials, specifically metal nanoclusters (NCs), are gaining attention as a promising class of antibacterial agents. Metal NCs exhibit antibacterial properties due to their ultrasmall size, extensive surface area, and well-controlled surface ligands. The antibacterial mechanisms of metal NCs are influenced by two primary factors: size and surface charge. In this review, we summarize the impacts of size and surface charge of metal NCs on the antibacterial mechanisms, their interactions with bacteria, and the factors that influence their antibacterial effects against both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Additionally, we highlight the mechanisms that occur when NCs are negatively or positively charged, and provide examples of their applications as antibacterial agents. A better understanding of relationships between antibacterial activity and the properties of metal NCs will aid in the design and synthesis of nanomaterials for the development of effective antibacterial agents against bacterial infections. Based on the remarkable achievements in the design of metal NCs, this review also presents conclusions on current challenges and future perspectives of metal NCs for both fundamental investigations and practical antibacterial applications. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Article number428
JournalJournal of Nanobiotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Antibacterial mechanism
  • Ligand
  • Metal nanoclusters
  • Nanomaterials
  • Size
  • Surface charge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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