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Nanotechnology. 2005 Oct;16(10):2346-53. doi: 10.1088/0957-4484/16/10/059. Epub 2005 Aug 26.

The bactericidal effect of silver nanoparticles.

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1
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA.

Abstract

Nanotechnology is expected to open new avenues to fight and prevent disease using atomic scale tailoring of materials. Among the most promising nanomaterials with antibacterial properties are metallic nanoparticles, which exhibit increased chemical activity due to their large surface to volume ratios and crystallographic surface structure. The study of bactericidal nanomaterials is particularly timely considering the recent increase of new resistant strains of bacteria to the most potent antibiotics. This has promoted research in the well known activity of silver ions and silver-based compounds, including silver nanoparticles. The present work studies the effect of silver nanoparticles in the range of 1-100 nm on Gram-negative bacteria using high angle annular dark field (HAADF) scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). Our results indicate that the bactericidal properties of the nanoparticles are size dependent, since the only nanoparticles that present a direct interaction with the bacteria preferentially have a diameter of approximately 1-10 nm.

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