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Current Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 0929-8673
ISSN (Online): 1875-533X

Copper as a Biocidal Tool

Author(s): Gadi Borkow and Jeffrey Gabbay

Volume 12, Issue 18, 2005

Page: [2163 - 2175] Pages: 13

DOI: 10.2174/0929867054637617

Price: $65


Copper ions, either alone or in copper complexes, have been used to disinfect liquids, solids and human tissue for centuries. Today copper is used as a water purifier, algaecide, fungicide, nematocide, molluscicide as well as an antibacterial and anti-fouling agent. Copper also displays potent anti-viral activity. This article reviews (i) the biocidal properties of copper; (ii) the possible mechanisms by which copper is toxic to microorganisms; and (iii) the systems by which many microorganisms resist high concentrations of heavy metals, with an emphasis on copper.

Keywords: bacteriostatic, gram-negative organisms, electroplated coatings, copper-impregnated fabrics, water purifier, antiviral, oxidizing agents, cell membrane, cell viability

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