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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 5831959, 10 pages
Research Article

Antibacterial Efficacy of Gold and Silver Nanoparticles Functionalized with the Ubiquicidin (29–41) Antimicrobial Peptide

1Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, Facultad de Química, Toluca, MEX, Mexico
2Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Nucleares, 52750 Ocoyoacac, MEX, Mexico
3Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, Centro Conjunto de Investigación en Química Sustentable UNAM/UAEM, 50200 Toluca, MEX, Mexico

Correspondence should be addressed to Enrique Morales-Avila

Received 21 December 2016; Accepted 6 March 2017; Published 26 March 2017

Academic Editor: Piersandro Pallavicini

Copyright © 2017 Enrique Morales-Avila 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.


Recent studies have demonstrated that drug antimicrobial activity is enhanced when metallic nanoparticles are used as an inorganic support, obtaining synergic effects against microorganisms. The cationic antimicrobial peptide ubiquicidin 29–41 (UBI) has demonstrated high affinity and sensitivity towards fungal and bacterial infections. The aim of this research was to prepare and evaluate the antimicrobial efficacy of engineered multivalent nanoparticle systems based on silver or gold nanoparticles functionalized with UBI. Spectroscopy techniques demonstrated that NPs were functionalized with UBI mainly through interactions with the -NH2 groups. A significant increase in the antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa was obtained with the conjugate AgNP-UBI with regard to that of AgNP. No inhibition of bacterial growth was observed with AuNP and AuNP-UBI using a nanoparticle concentration of up to 182 μg mL−1. Nonetheless, silver nanoparticles conjugated to the UBI antimicrobial peptide may provide an alternative therapy for topical infections.