Controlling bacterial contamination has been a major challenge for protecting human health and welfare. In this context, hydrogels loaded with silver nanoparticles have been used to prevent biofilm formation on substrates of interest. However, such gel composites are often plagued by rapid loss of silver nanoparticles and matrix softening, and thus the gel becomes less effective for antifouling. To this end, this study demonstrates that in situ photoreaction of an aqueous mixture of silver nitrates, poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate, and vinylpyrrolidone results in a silver nanoparticle-laden hydrogel composite with minimal nanoparticle loss and matrix softening due to enhanced binding between nanoparticles and the gel. The resulting gel composite successfully inhibits the bacterial growth in media and the bacterial adhesion to surfaces of interest. We suggest that the results of this study serve to advance quality of materials with antifouling/bacterial activities.
Baek, Kwanghyun, Jing Liang, Wan Ting Lim, Huimin Zhao, Dong Hyun Kim, Hyunjoon Kong
ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces