In this study, we investigated the antibacterial activity of silver-coated gold nanoparticles (Au-Ag NPs) immobilized on cellulose paper. Ag NPs are known to have strong antibacterial properties, while Au NPs are biocompatible and relatively simple to prepare. We made the Au-Ag NPs using a facile process called Ag enhancement, in which Au NPs serve as the nuclei for precipitation of a Ag coating, the thickness of which can be easily controlled by varying the ratio of the reactants. After synthesis, electron microscopy showed that the Au-Ag NPs displayed a core-shell structure, and that they could be successfully immobilized onto a cellulose membrane by heat treatment. We then investigated the antibacterial properties of this NP-coated cellulose paper against E. coli JM109. The inhibition rate, growth curve, and AATCC 100 activity test showed that cellulose paper coated with 15 nm Au-Ag NPs possessed excellent antibacterial activity against E. coli JM109. These results suggest that Au-Ag NPs immobilized on cellulose paper could be a valuable antibacterial technology for applications such as food packaging, clothing, wound dressings, and other personal care products.
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