Feb 25, 2009
Nanocomposite behaves as a universal biocide
Researchers at ICMM-CSIC and CNB-CSIC have developed a new bottom-up route for making soda-line glass that contains monodispersed silver nanoparticles (nanoAg). The glass-nanoAg powder was found to be a powerful antibacterial and antifungal inorganic agent and features silver nanoparticles embedded into sepiolite fibres produced by TOLSA.
The glass matrix allows the silver nanoparticles to act quickly to provide safe, fast and total disinfection using only a small amount of silver. This is due to the synergetic contribution of the calcium ions (50 ppm) lixiviated from the glass.
The fraction of silver lixiviated from the glass powder during the bactericide test, in all cases (gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria and yeast), was found to be very low (<28 ppm) and is far below the toxicity level. Sectors that could benefit from this new universal inorganic biocide material include health, agriculture, food and public areas.
The group is currently focusing its research activity on the nature of the mentioned synergetic contribution, and other possible glass/nMetal powder systems.
Sepiolite is a magnesium silicate clay mineral with its larger deposit located in Madrid, Spain.
The researchers presented their work in Nanotechnology.
About the author
Leticia Esteban-Tejada is a PhD student at the ICMM, Biomaterials Department. She has a Masters in Chemistry Engineering. Dr Francisco Malpartida is the biologist head of Molecular Genetics of the Streptomyces group of CNB-CSIC. Dr Antonio Esteban-Cubillo is leader of the R&D department of TOLSA, S.A.D. Carlos Pecharroman is a physicist specializing in optical properties of nanomaterials from ICMM-CSIC and Prof. Jose S Moya is the head of the group and a materials scientist from the ICMM-CSIC.