Antibacterial and non-cytotoxic effect of nanocomposites based in polyethylene and copper nanoparticles

J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2015 Mar;26(3):129. doi: 10.1007/s10856-015-5475-6. Epub 2015 Feb 19.


In this study, an antibacterial, but not cytotoxic nanomaterial based on polyethylene and copper nanoparticles was prepared by in situ polymerization. PE-CuNps nanocomposites against Escherichia coli, completely suppressed the number of live bacteria after 12 h incubation compared to neat PE. TEM images showed that nanocomposites damage the plasma membrane of the bacteria, revealing a bacteriolytic effect. Toxic effects of copper nanoparticles on viability of neuroblastoma line cell also was evaluated, revealing a non cytotoxic effect for the doses used, showing that this nanocomposite is a ideal material for medical devices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Copper / chemistry*
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Nanocomposites*
  • Polyethylene / chemistry*
  • Polymerization


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Copper
  • Polyethylene