Antibacterial activity of multilayer silver-copper surface films on catheter material

Can J Microbiol. 1993 Sep;39(9):895-9. doi: 10.1139/m93-134.


The antimicrobial activity of Ag, Cu, and layered Ag-Cu surface films, sputter-coated onto several types of catheter material, against clinical isolates of Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus aureus was evaluated. When 20 microL of a suspension of S. epidermidis or S. aureus (2.68 x 10(6) colony-forming units/mL) was applied onto Ag-Cu- or Cu-coated butyl rubber, bacterial numbers were greatly reduced within 10 h, and eliminated within 24 h. In contrast, antibacterial activity was significantly less on uncoated or Ag-coated surfaces. Ag-Cu- or Cu-coated silicon rubber, polyvinylchloride, and teflon were even more effective than Ag-Cu- or Cu-coated butyl rubber. Ag-Cu layered surface films also showed antibacterial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation. Multiple metal surface film combinations show great promise in lowering the incidence of device-associated nosocomial infections.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Catheterization*
  • Copper / pharmacology*
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects*
  • Silver / pharmacology*
  • Staphylococcus / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis / drug effects
  • Surface Properties


  • Silver
  • Copper