This study demonstrated a controllable release properties and synergistic antibacterial actions between orange essential oil (OEO) and silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) incorporated onto cellulose (CL) nanofibers. The preparation of AgNPs attached on CL nanofibers was conducted through multiple processes including the deacetylation process to transform cellulose acetate (CA) nanofibers to CL nanofibers, the in situ synthesis of AgNPs, and the coating of as-prepared silver composite CL nanofibers using OEO solutions with two different concentrations. The success of immobilization of AgNPs onto the surface of CL nanofibers and the incorporation of OEO into the polymer matrix was confirmed by SEM-EDS, TEM, XRD, and FT-IR characterizations. The tensile strength, elongation at break, and Young's modulus of the nanofibers after each step of treatment were recorded and compared to pristine CA nanofibers. The high antibacterial activities of AgNPs and OEO were assessed against Gram-positive B. subtilis and Gram-negative E. coli microorganisms. The combined effects of two antimicrobials, AgNPs and OEO, were distinctively recognized against E. coli.
Keywords: antibacterial activity; cellulose nanofiber; electrospinning; orange essential oil; silver nanoparticle.