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Antibacterial activity and cytotoxicity of multi-walled carbon nanotubes decorated with silver nanoparticles

Authors Seo Y, Hwang J, Kim J, Jeong Y, Hwang MP, Choi J

Received 17 June 2014

Accepted for publication 19 July 2014

Published 30 September 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 4621—4629

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S69561

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 5

Youngmin Seo,1 Jangsun Hwang,1 Jieun Kim,1 Yoon Jeong,1–3 Mintai P Hwang,3 Jonghoon Choi1,2

1Department of Bionano Technology, Graduate School, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea; 2Department of Bionano Engineering, Hanyang University ERICA, Ansan, Korea; 3Center for Biomaterials, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul, Korea

Abstract: Recently, various nanoscale materials, including silver (Ag) nanoparticles, have been actively studied for their capacity to effectively prevent bacterial growth. A critical challenge is to enhance the antibacterial properties of nanomaterials while maintaining their biocompatibility. The conjugation of multiple nanomaterials with different dimensions, such as spherical nanoparticles and high-aspect-ratio nanotubes, may increase the target-specific antibacterial capacity of the consequent nanostructure while retaining an optimal biocompatibility. In this study, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were treated with a mixture of acids and decorated with Ag nanoparticles via a chemical reduction of Ag cations by ethanol solution. The synthesized Ag-MWCNT complexes were characterized by transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffractometry, and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. The antibacterial function of Ag-MWCNTs was evaluated against Methylobacterium spp. and Sphingomonas spp. In addition, the biocompatibility of Ag-MWCNTs was evaluated using both mouse liver hepatocytes (AML 12) and human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Finally, we determined the minimum amount of Ag-MWCNTs required for a biocompatible yet effective antibacterial treatment modality. We report that 30 µg/mL of Ag-MWCNTs confers antibacterial functionality while maintaining minimal cytotoxicity toward both human and animal cells. The results reported herein would be beneficial for researchers interested in the efficient preparation of hybrid nanostructures and in determining the minimum amount of Ag-MWCNTs necessary to effectively hinder the growth of bacteria.

Keywords: antimicrobial, nanoconstructs, toxicity

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