We conducted photocatalytic experiments focusing on the peptidoglycan layer to elucidate the details of the mechanism of photocatalytic sterilization. The previous study of our laboratory suggested that the presence of the peptidoglycan layer increases the bactericidal effect. To further verify it, the following experiments were performed: experiments on cells with different peptidoglycan layer thickness used Lactobacillus plantarum cells with different growth phases, experiments on cells with the thin peptidoglycan layer used Escherichia coli cells and spheroplast cells from which the peptidoglycan layer was removed from E. coli cells. The bactericidal effects increased as the growth progresses of L. plantarum. It was confirmed by TEM that the thickness of the peptidoglycan layer increased with cell growth. The survival rates of E. coli intact cells were significantly lower than those of spheroplast cells. These results strongly suggest that the peptidoglycan layer enhances the photocatalytic bactericidal effect. As a result of allowing the photocatalytic reaction to act on peptidoglycan, the amount of hydroxyl radical was smaller, and the amount of hydrogen peroxide was higher than in the absence of peptidoglycan. It is suggested that peptidoglycan may convert produced hydroxyl radical to hydrogen peroxide.
- Bactericidal effect
- Growth phase