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A light-assisted in situ embedment of silver nanoparticles to prepare functionalized fabrics

Authors Toh HS, Faure RL, Mohd Amin LB, Hay CYF, George S

Received 12 April 2017

Accepted for publication 26 June 2017

Published 30 November 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 147—162


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Israel (Rudi) Rubinstein

Her Shuang Toh,1 Roxanne Line Faure,2 Liyana Bte Mohd Amin,1 Crystal Yu Fang Hay,1 Saji George1,3

1Centre of Sustainable Nanotechnology, School of Chemical and Life Sciences, Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore, Singapore; 2DUT Analyses Biologiques et Biochimiques, IUT Génie Biologique, Dijon, France; 3Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry, Macdonald Campus, McGill University, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC, Canada

Abstract: This article presents a simple, one-step, in situ generation of silver nanoparticle-functionalized fabrics with antibacterial properties, circumventing the conventional, multistep, time-consuming methods. Silver nanoparticle formation was studied with a library of capping agents (branched polyethylenimine [BPEI] of molecular weight [Mw] 10,000 and 25,000, polyvinylpyrrolidone, polyethylene glycol, polyvinylalcohol and citrate) mixed with silver nitrate. The mixture was then exposed to an assortment of light wavelengths (ultraviolet, infrared and simulated solar light) for studying the light-assisted synthesis of nanoparticles. The formation of nanoparticles corresponded with the reducing capabilities of the polymers wherein BPEI gave the best response. Notably, the irradiation wavelengths had little effect on the formation of the nanoparticle when the total irradiation energy was kept constant. The feasibility of utilizing this method for in situ nanoparticle synthesis on textile fabrics (towel [100% cotton], gauze [100% cotton], rayon, felt [100% polyester] and microfiber [15% nylon, 85% polyester]) was verified by exposing the fabrics soaked in an aqueous solution of 1% (w/v) AgNO3 and 1% (w/v) BPEI (Mw 25,000) to light. The formation of nanoparticles on fabrics and their retention after washing was verified using scanning electron microscopy and quantified by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry. The functional property of the fabric as an antibacterial surface was successfully demonstrated using model bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis and Escherichia coli. The successful generation of silver nanoparticle-functionalized textile fabrics without the use of caustic chemicals, solvents and excessive heating presents a major step towards realizing a scalable green chemistry for industrial generation of functionalized fabrics for a wide range of applications.

Keywords: BPEI, branched polyethylenimine, in situ synthesis, photoreduction, antibacterial fabrics, light-assisted nanoparticle synthesis

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