In this study, the antifungal activity rate of alginate-CuO bionanocomposite was assessed against Aspergillus niger using colony forming units (CFU) and disc diffusion methods. Employing the Taguchi method, nine experiments were designed for the synthesis of alginate-CuO nanocomposite with the highest antifungal activity. The nanocomposite synthesized under the conditions of experiment 5 (4 mg/mL CuO nanoparticles and 1 mg/mL alginate biopolymer with stirring time of 90 min) showed the greatest inhibition rate on fungal growth (83.17%). In the optimum conditions for the synthesis of alginate-CuO nanocomposite with the highest antifungal activity the second level of CuO NPs (14.14%), alginate biopolymer (8.16%) and stirring time (5.63%) showed the best improvement performance on inhibiting the fungal growth. The results of ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV-vis), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) confirmed the formation of alginate-CuO nanocomposite. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential thermal analysis (DTA) indicated that the thermal stability of alginate biopolymer and CuO nanoparticles were improved by the formation of the nanocomposite. Due to the favorable properties of alginate-CuO nanocomposite, its antifungal feature can be used in various biomedical fields.
Keywords: Alginate biopolymer; Antifungal activity; Bionanocomposite; Copper oxide nanoparticles; Taguchi methods.
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