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Silver-nanoparticle-embedded antimicrobial paints based on vegetable oil


Developing bactericidal coatings using simple green chemical methods could be a promising route to potential environmentally friendly applications. Here, we describe an environmentally friendly chemistry approach to synthesize metal-nanoparticle (MNP)-embedded paint, in a single step, from common household paint. The naturally occurring oxidative drying process in oils, involving free-radical exchange, was used as the fundamental mechanism for reducing metal salts and dispersing MNPs in the oil media, without the use of any external reducing or stabilizing agents. These well-dispersed MNP-in-oil dispersions can be used directly, akin to commercially available paints, on nearly all kinds of surface such as wood, glass, steel and different polymers. The surfaces coated with silver-nanoparticle paint showed excellent antimicrobial properties by killing both Gram-positive human pathogens (Staphylococcus aureus) and Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli). The process we have developed here is quite general and can be applied in the synthesis of a variety of MNP-in-oil systems.

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Figure 1: Chemical structure of common fatty acids in drying oils, and synthesis and characterization of AgNPs in alkyd resins.
Figure 2: Metal-salt-containing drying oils, and nanoparticle-embedded paint coatings.
Figure 3: AuNP synthesis in cardanol-based polymer films.
Figure 4: Summary of the antibacterial properties of AgNP-containing paints.


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J. Haldar from MIT is acknowledged for discussions. A. Janakiraman, Department of Biology, CCNY is acknowledged for assisting with the microbial experiments. G.J. acknowledges the Science Interdepartmental Electron Microscope and Imaging Center at CCNY. P.M.A. acknowledges funding from NSEC at RPI.

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Correspondence to George John.

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Supplementary figures S1-S6 and supplementary table S1 (PDF 472 kb)

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Kumar, A., Vemula, P., Ajayan, P. et al. Silver-nanoparticle-embedded antimicrobial paints based on vegetable oil. Nature Mater 7, 236–241 (2008).

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