Antimicrobial Properties and Cytocompatibility of PLGA/Ag Nanocomposites

Materials (Basel). 2016 Jan 11;9(1):37. doi: 10.3390/ma9010037.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the antimicrobial properties of multifunctional nanocomposites based on poly(dl-Lactide-co-Glycolide) (PLGA) and increasing concentration of silver (Ag) nanoparticles and their effects on cell viability for biomedical applications. PLGA nanocomposite films, produced by solvent casting with 1 wt%, 3 wt% and 7 wt% of Ag nanoparticles were investigated and surface properties were characterized by atomic force microscopy and contact angle measurements. Antibacterial tests were performed using an Escherichia coli RB and Staphylococcus aureus 8325-4 strains. The cell viability and morphology were performed with a murine fibroblast cell line (L929) and a human osteosarcoma cell line (SAOS-2) by cell viability assay and electron microscopy observations. Matrix protein secretion and deposition were also quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The results suggest that the PLGA film morphology can be modified introducing a small percentage of silver nanoparticles, which induce the onset of porous round-like microstructures and also affect the wettability. The PLGA/Ag films having silver nanoparticles of more than 3 wt% showed antibacterial effects against E. coli and S. aureus. Furthermore, silver-containing PLGA films displayed also a good cytocompatibility when assayed with L929 and SAOS-2 cells; indicating the PLGA/3Ag nanocomposite film as a promising candidate for tissue engineering applications.

Keywords: Ag nanocomposites; antibacterial activity; cell cytocompatibility.