Antimicrobial action of silanols, a new class of antimicrobials, was investigated by transmission electron microscopy and fluorescent dye studies. Gram-negative bacteria, Escherichia coli
and Pseudomonas aeruginosa
and Gram-positive bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus
and Enterococcus faecalis
were treated by silanols at concentration of less than 0.2 wt% for one hour. Membrane damage of the bacteria by the silanol treatment was clearly observed by transmission electron microscopy. Separation of the cytoplasmic membrane from the outer membrane for E. coli
and disorganized cytoplasmic membrane of the Gram-positive bacteria were observed when compared to the control. Fluorescent dyes, green-fluorescent nucleic acid stain (Syto 9) and the red-fluorescent nucleic acid stain (Propidium iodide), were used to monitor membrane damage of the bacteria by Confocal microscopy and Spectrophotometer. A reduction of the green fluorescent emission was detected for silanol treated bacteria indicating membrane damage of the bacteria and supporting the hypothesis that their viability loss may be due to their membrane damage analogus to alcohols.