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Highly potent silver-organoalkoxysilane antimicrobial porous nanomembrane

Sirajo Umar1, Yuanfeng Liu1, Yiguang Wu2, Guangtao Li2, Jiabo Ding3, Runsong Xiong1 and Jinchun Chen1*

Author affiliations

1 College of Life Science and Technology, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, China

2 Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

3 China Institute of Veterinary Drug Control, Beijing 100081, China

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Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:164  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-164

Published: 10 April 2013


We used a simple electrospinning technique to fabricate a highly potent silver-organoalkoxysilane antimicrobial composite from AgNO3-polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)/3-aminopropyltrimethoxysilane (APTMS)/tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) solution. Spectroscopic and microscopic analyses of the composite showed that the fibers contain an organoalkoxysilane ‘skeleton,’ 0.18 molecules/nm2 surface amino groups, and highly dispersed and uniformly distributed silver nanoparticles (5 nm in size). Incorporation of organoalkoxysilanes is highly beneficial to the antimicrobial mat as (1) amino groups of APTMS are adhesive and biocidal to microorganisms, (2) polycondensation of APTMS and TEOS increases the membrane’s surface area by forming silicon bonds that stabilize fibers and form a composite mat with membranous structure and high porosity, and (3) the organoalkoxysilanes are also instrumental to the synthesis of the very small-sized and highly dispersed silver metal particles in the fiber mat. Antimicrobial property of the composite was evaluated by disk diffusion, minimum inhibition concentration (MIC), kinetic, and extended use assays on bacteria (Escherichia coli, Bacillus anthracis, Staphylococcus aureus, and Brucella suis), a fungus (Aspergillus niger), and the Newcastle disease virus. The membrane shows quick and sustained broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. Only 0.3 mg of fibers is required to achieve MIC against all the test organisms. Bacteria are inhibited within 30 min of contact, and the fibers can be used repeatedly. The composite is silver efficient and environment friendly, and its membranous structure is suitable for many practical applications as in air filters, antimicrobial linen, coatings, bioadhesives, and biofilms.

Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP); Silver; Nanoparticles; Antimicrobial; Composite fibers