Researchers from Tsinghua University in Beijing have developed nanofibrous antibacterial membranes that show a high degree of effectiveness against E.coli
. Made out of silver and silver bromide nanoparticles brewed into titanium dioxide and apatite precursor, the technique can apparently be scaled to large production of all sorts of antibacterial applications.
Michael Berger from Nanowerk reports:
While the preparation of multicomponent materials is not new, their fabrication usually is based on the co-precipitation method where the resulting materials are generally obtained in powder form â€“ which makes their practical application difficult because it requires further steps to prepare coatings or thin films. The novelty of the Chinese team's approach is the development of a facile and effective approach to produce membrane or film materials with comparable or even higher antibacterial activity.
"Using an electrospinning technique, we have prepared a new kind of free-standing antibacterial membranes, which contain silver, silver bromide, titanium dioxide, and hydroxyapatite as four active components," Gunagtao Li tells Nanowerk. "In this antibacterial membrane, each component serves a different function: apatite as the adsorption material for capturing bacteria, silver nanoparticles as the release-active antibacterial agent, silver bromide nanoparticles as the visible sensitive and release-active antibacterial agent, and titanium dioxide as the UV sensitive antibacterial material and substrate for other functional components."
Li points out that, compared to the four component system in powder form reported previously, the fabricated materials show double the antibacterial inactivation of E.coli under the same evaluation conditions, indicating that the addition of the electrospun membrane could significantly improve antibacterial efficiency. Additionally, the used technique has the potential to be scaled up to the industrial scale.