Professor Bob Tilton published in Journal of Colloid and Interface Science-Chemical Engineering - Carnegie Mellon University

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Professor Bob Tilton published in Journal of Colloid and Interface Science

Bob Tilton, together with ChE students Stacy Wirth, Alex Bertuccio, Feng Cao and CEE Professor Greg Lowry, has just published work in the Journal of Colloid and Interface Science showing that although silver nanoparticles are known to be highly toxic to microorganisms and are often used to prepare antimicrobial surfaces, their antimicrobial effect is overwhelmed if the bacterial population is sufficiently high. Above a threshold population, silver nanoparticle-coated surfaces are no more resistant to bacterial colonization than bare surfaces. This may explain poor performance of such antimicrobial surfaces. The work also suggests that the ecological impact of silver nanoparticles may be less than suggested by more conventional studies of microbial toxicity in dilute bacterial suspensions. 

S.M. Wirth, A. Bertuccio, F. Cao, G.V. Lowry, R.D. Tilton “Inhibition of Bacterial Surface Colonization by Immobilized Silver Nanoparticles Depends Critically on the Planktonic Bacterial Concentration,” Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 467, 17-27 (2016). DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jcis.2015.12.049