Combined effects of Ag nanoparticles and oxygen plasma treatment on PLGA morphological, chemical, and antibacterial properties

Elena Fortunati, Samantha Mattioli, Livia Visai, Marcello Imbriani, Josè Luis G Fierro, Josè Maria Kenny, Ilaria Armentano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The purpose of this study is to investigate the combined effects of oxygen plasma treatments and silver nanoparticles (Ag) on PLGA in order to modulate the surface antimicrobial properties through tunable bacteria adhesion mechanisms. PLGA nanocomposite films, produced by solvent casting with 1 wt % and 7 wt % of Ag nanoparticles were investigated. The PLGA and PLGA/Ag nanocomposite surfaces were treated with oxygen plasma. Surface properties of PLGA were investigated by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), static contact angle (CA), and high resolution X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Antibacterial tests were performed using an Escherichia coli RB (a Gram negative) and Staphylococcus aureus 8325-4 (a Gram positive). The PLGA surface becomes hydrophilic after the oxygen treatment and its roughness increases with the treatment time. The surface treatment and the Ag nanoparticle introduction have a dominant influence on the bacteria adhesion and growth. Oxygen-treated PLGA/Ag systems promote higher reduction of the bacteria viability in comparison to the untreated samples and neat PLGA. The combination of Ag nanoparticles with the oxygen plasma treatment opens new perspectives for the studied biodegradable systems in biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626-636
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 11 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Biomaterials

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