Antimicrobial Electrospun Biopolymer Nanofiber Mats Functionalized with Graphene Oxide-Silver Nanocomposites

Andreia F. De Faria, François Perreault, Evyatar Shaulsky, Laura H. Arias Chavez, Menachem Elimelech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

243 Scopus citations


Functionalization of electrospun mats with antimicrobial nanomaterials is an attractive strategy to develop polymer coating materials to prevent bacterial colonization on surfaces. In this study we demonstrated a feasible approach to produce antimicrobial electrospun mats through a postfabrication binding of graphene-based nanocomposites to the nanofibers surface. A mixture of poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) and chitosan was electrospun to yield cylindrical and narrow-diameter (356 nm) polymeric fibers. To achieve a robust antimicrobial property, the PLGA-chitosan mats were functionalized with graphene oxide decorated with silver nanoparticles (GO-Ag) via a chemical reaction between the carboxyl groups of graphene and the primary amine functional groups on the PLGA-chitosan fibers using 3-(dimethylamino)propyl-N′-ethylcarbodiimide hydrochloride and N-hydroxysuccinimide as cross-linking agents. The attachment of GO-Ag sheets to the surface of PLGA-chitosan fibers was successfully revealed by scanning and transmission electron images. Upon direct contact with bacterial cells, the PLGA-chitosan mats functionalized with GO-Ag nanocomposites were able to effectively inactivate both Gram-negative (Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and Gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria. Our results suggest that covalent binding of GO-Ag nanocomposites to the surface of PLGA-chitosan mats opens up new opportunities for the production of cost-effective, scalable, and biodegradable coating materials with the ability to hinder microbial proliferation on solid surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12751-12759
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 17 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • antimicrobial properties
  • electrospun fibers
  • graphene oxide
  • nanocomposites
  • silver nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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