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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012, Article ID 674145, 9 pages
Research Article

Antibacterial Properties of Silver-Loaded Plasma Polymer Coatings

1Institut de Science des Matériaux de Mulhouse, CNRS LRC 7228, 15 rue Jean Starcky, BP2488, 68057 Mulhouse Cedex, France
2Mawson Institute and School of Advanced Manufacturing, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes Campus, Mawson Lakes, SA 5099, Australia

Received 8 February 2012; Accepted 22 March 2012

Academic Editor: Haifeng Chen

Copyright © 2012 Lydie Ploux et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In a previous paper, we proposed new silver nanoparticles (SNPs) based antibacterial coatings able to protect eukaryotic cells from SNPs related toxic effects, while preserving antibacterial efficiency. A SNPs containing n-heptylamine (HA) polymer matrix was deposited by plasma polymerization and coated by a second HA layer. In this paper, we elucidate the antibacterial action of these new coatings. We demonstrated that SNPs-loaded material can be covered by thin HA polymer layer without losing the antibacterial activity to planktonic bacteria living in the near surroundings of the material. SNPs-containing materials also revealed antibacterial effect on adhered bacteria. Adhered bacteria number was significantly reduced compared to pure HA plasma polymer and the physiology of the bacteria was affected. The number of adhered bacteria directly decreased with thickness of the second HA layer. Surprisingly, the quantity of cultivable bacteria harvested by transfer to nutritive agar decreased not only with the presence of SNPs, but also in relation to the covering HA layer thickness, that is, oppositely to the increase in adhered bacteria number. Two hypotheses are proposed for this surprising result (stronger attachment or weaker vitality), which raises the question of the diverse potential ways of action of SNPs entrapped in a polymer matrix.