International journal of biological macromolecules

Stabilization of antimicrobial silver nanoparticles by a polyhydroxyalkanoate obtained from mixed bacterial culture.

PMID 25043131


The incorporation of antimicrobials into polymer matrices is a promising technology in the food packaging and biomedical areas. Among the most widely used antimicrobials, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have emerged as one of the most researched technologies to prevent microbial outbreaks. However, it is known that AgNPs are rather unstable and present patterns of agglomeration that might limit their application. In this work, AgNPs were produced by chemical reduction in suspensions of an unpurified poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate (PHBV) which was previously obtained from a mixed culture fermentation using a synthetic medium mimicking fermented cheese whey. The synthesis of AgNPs was carried out within the unpurified PHBV suspension (in situ) and by physical mixing (mix). The stability of crystalline and spherical nanoparticles (7±3nm) obtained in situ was found to be stable during at least 40 days. The results suggest that the unpurified PHBV appears to be a very efficient capping agent, preventing agglomeration and, thereby, stabilizing successfully the silver nanoparticles. The in situ obtained AgNP-PHBV materials were also found to exhibit a strong antibacterial activity against Salmonella enterica at low concentration (0.1-1ppm).