Antimicrobial Properties Of Metal And Metal-Halide Nanoparticles And Their Potential Applications
AuthorTorrey, Jason Robert
Soil, Water & Environmental Science
AdvisorGerba, Charles P.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractHeavy metals have been known to possess antimicrobial properties against bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens. Silver and copper in particular have been used for millennia to control bacterial and fungal contamination. Metal nanoparticles (aggregations of metal atoms 1-200 nm in size) have recently become the subject of intensive study for their increased antimicrobial properties due to their increased surface area and localized release of metal ions when attached to pathogens. In the current studies, metal and metalhalide nanoparticles including silver (Ag), silver bromide (AgBr), silver iodide (AgI), and copper iodide (CuI) nanoparticles were evaluated for their antibacterial efficacy against two common bacterial pathogens. All of the nanoparticles significantly reduced bacterial numbers within 24 hours of exposure and were more effective against the Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa than the Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus. CuI nanoparticles were found to be highly effective, reducing both organisms by >4.43 log₁₀ within 15 minutes at 60 ppm Cu. CuI nanoparticles were selected for further evaluation against a range of microorganisms to determine their broad spectrum efficacy. CuI nanoparticles formulated with different stabilizers (sodium dodecyl sulfate, SDS; PVP) were tested against representative Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, Mycobacteria, a fungus (Candida albicans), and a non-enveloped virus (poliovirus). Both nanoparticles caused significant reductions in most of the Gram-negative bacteria within five minutes of exposure (>5.09-log₁₀). The Gram-positive bacterial species were more sensitive to the CuI-SDS than the CuI-PVP nanoparticles. Likewise, C. albicans was also more sensitive to the CuI-SDS than the CuI-PVP nanoparticles. In contrast, the acid-fast Mycobacterium smegmatis was more resistant to the CuI-SDS than the CuI-PVP nanoparticle solutions (2.54-log₁₀ vs. 3.80-log₁₀ after 30 minutes). Poliovirus was more resistant than the other organisms tested except for Mycobacterium fortuitum. M. fortuitum was more resistant to both CuI nanoparticle solutions than any of the other organisms tested, requiring longer exposure times to achieve comparable reductions (~4.15 log₁₀ after 24 hours). As an example of a real world antimicrobial application, polymer surface coatings with embedded CuI nanoparticles were investigated to determine their potential use as self-disinfecting surfaces. Brushed polyurethane, spincoated acrylic, and powder coated polyester-epoxy coatings containing various concentrations of CuI nanoparticles were tested for antibacterial efficacy against P. aeruginosa and S. aureus. Polyester-epoxy powder coatings were superior to the other coatings in terms of uniformity and stability under moist conditions and displayed antimicrobial properties against both organisms (>4.92 log₁₀) after six hours at 0.25% Cu. Polyester-epoxy coatings were selected for more rigorous testing under adverse conditions. These surfaces were negatively impacted when tested under dry conditions with high organic content, with organic content appearing to have a greater impact on antimicrobial efficacy. At 0.25% Cu, the antibacterial activity of the powder coatings was not impacted by washing with several commercial cleaners; however, at concentrations of 0.05% Cu, antibacterial activity was reduced by multiple washings with water, Windex®, and Pine Sol®. Additionally, ultrasonic cleaning of the coatings appeared to decrease their antimicrobial efficacy. Despite this, CuI nanoparticles were found in all studies to have great potential as a new class of fast-acting, broad-spectrum antimicrobial.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Soil, Water and Environmental Science