Reduced Staphylococcus aureus proliferation and biofilm formation on zinc oxide nanoparticle PVC composite surfaces
Conventional particulate zinc oxide (ZnO) is a known antibacterial agent. Studies have shown that reducing the size of ZnO particles to nanoscale dimensions further enhances their antibacterial properties. Polymers, like all biomaterials, run the risk of harboring bacteria which may produce an antibiotic-resistant biofilm. The addition of ZnO nanoparticles to form a polymer composite material may thus reduce undesirable bacteria activity. The purpose of the present in vitro study was to investigate the antibacterial properties of ZnO nanoparticles when incorporated into a traditional polymeric biomaterial. For this purpose, Staphylococcus aureus were seeded at a known cell density onto coverslips coated with a film of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) with varying concentrations of ZnO nanoparticles. Samples were cultured for 24 or 72 h. Methods of analysis, including optical density readings and crystal violet staining, indicated a reduced presence of a biofilm on ZnO nanoparticle polymer composites compared to pure polymer controls. Live/dead bacteria assays provided images to confirm the reduced presence of active bacteria on samples with zinc oxide nanoparticles. Conditioning of the cell culture medium by the composites was also investigated by measuring concentrations of elemental zinc (Zn2+) and bacteria growth in the presence of conditioned medium. This study demonstrated that the development of ZnO polymer composites may improve biomaterial effectiveness for numerous applications, such as endotracheal tubes, catheterp and implanted biomaterials, which are prone to bacterial infection.
Journal: Acta Biomaterialia - Volume 7, Issue 6, June 2011, Pages 2579–2584