Journal article Open Access

Antimicrobial Active Bioplastics Using Triangular Silver Nanoplate Integrated Polycaprolactone and Polylactic Acid Films

Eduardo Lanzagorta Garcia; Olivia A. Attallah; Marija Mojicevic; Declan M Devine; Margaret Brennan Fournet

An innovative antimicrobial technology for plastic surfaces is presented. We report the synthesis and scale-up of triangular silver nanoplates (TSNPs) and their integration into polycaprolactone (PCL) and polylactic acid (PLA) polymers through a solvent-casting technique. The TSNPs have a high geometric aspect ratio and strong local surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) response, which provides an effective tool for monitoring their integrity during processing and integration with the biodegradable plastics. An aqueous-based seed-mediated chemical method was used to synthesize the TSNPs, and characterisation was carried out using TEM and UV (Ultraviolet)-VIS (Visible) spectroscopy to measure LSPR profiles. The UV-VIS spectra of silver seeds and TSNPs exhibited characteristic peaks at 395 and 600 nm respectively. Synthesized TSNPs were coated with thiol-terminated polyethylene glycol (SH-PEG) and transferred into chloroform in order to effect compatibility with PCL and PLA. TSNP/PCL and TSNP/PLA composite films were prepared by solvent casting. The morphological structure, thermal, mechanical, and antimicrobial properties of the TSNP-incorporated composite films were evaluated. Results showed the TSNP-treated films had a rougher surface than the bare films. Insignificant changes in the thermal properties of TSNP-treated films compared to bare ones were also observed, which indicated the thermal stability of the composite films. The tensile strength and antimicrobial properties of the composite films were increased after TSNP incorporation. TSNP/PCL and TSNP/PLA films exhibited improved antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus with antimicrobial effect (AE) values ranging between 0.10 and 0.35. The obtained results and demonstrated TSNP production scalability validate the TSNP treated PCL and PLA films as a composite material with desirable antimicrobial effect for wide-ranging surface applications.

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