The mechanism of biocidal action of nano titania on Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus has been evaluated by various biochemical techniques like lipid peroxidation, hydrolysis of orthonitrophenol β-D-galactopyranoside, estimation of protein-amino acid and bacterial nucleic acids leakage into solution, in addition to morphology studies by electron microscopy (TEM and SEM) and K(+) ion leakage by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry. The active anatase phase of nano titania has been synthesized by sol-gel and pulverization techniques to obtain particle sizes averaging around 11 nm. The nano semiconductor with a bandgap of 3.2 eV responds well to the UV source to liberate reactive oxygen species (ROS). Gram negative bacteria easily succumb to the ROS at a faster rate than gram-positive bacteria with an observable difference in the mode of attack. The use of analytical techniques revealed the release of peroxidized lipid (26 nmol mL(-1) ) and protein content (370 μg mL(-1)) with a K(+) ion concentration of 22 000 ppb on complete destruction of E. coli.