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Antibacterial silver nanocluster/silica composite coatings on stainless steel
Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy.
Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy.
Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy.
Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy.
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2017 (English)In: Applied Surface Science, ISSN 0169-4332, E-ISSN 1873-5584, Vol. 396, 1546-1555 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A coating made of silver nanocluster/silica composites has been deposited, via a radio frequency (RF) co-sputtering technique, for the first time onto stainless steel (AISI 304L) with the aim to improve its antibacterial properties. Different thermal treatments after coating deposition have been applied in order to optimize the coating adhesion, cohesion and its antibacterial properties. Its applicability has been investigated at realistic conditions in a cheese production plant. The physico-chemical characteristics of the coatings have been analyzed by means of different bulk and surface analytical techniques. Field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), contact angle measurements and atomic force microscopy (AFM) were employed to assess coating morphology, composition, surface roughness, wetting properties, size and local distribution of the nanoparticles within the coating. Tape tests were used to determine the adhesion/cohesion properties of the coating. The amount and time-dependence of released silver in solutions of acetic acid, artificial water, artificial tap water and artificial milk were determined by means of Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS). The antibacterial effect of the coating was evaluated at different experimental conditions using a standard bacterial strain of Staphylococcus aureus in compliance with National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards (NCCLS) and AATCC 147 standards. The Ahearn test was performed to measure the adhesion of bacteria to the coated stainless steel surface compared with a control surface. The antibacterial coating retained its antibacterial activity after thermal treatment up to 450 °C and after soaking in common cleaning products for stainless steel surfaces used for e.g. food applications. The antibacterial capacity of the coating remained at high levels for 1-5 days, and showed a good capacity to reduce the adhesion of bacteria up to 30 days. Only a few percent of silver in the coating was released into acetic acid, even after 10 days of exposure at 40 °C. Most silver (> 90%) remained also in the coating even after 240 h of continuous exposure. Similar observations were made after repeated exposure at 100 °C. Very low levels of released silver in solution were observed in artificial milk. No release of silver nanoparticles was observed either in synthetic tap water or in artificial milk at given conditions. The coating further displayed good antibacterial properties also when tested during working conditions in a cheese production plant.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017. Vol. 396, 1546-1555 p.
Keyword [en]
Antibacterial coating, Cheese production, Silver nanoclusters, Sputtering, Steel
National Category
Manufacturing, Surface and Joining Technology Other Chemistry Topics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-27779DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2016.11.207ScopusID: 2-s2.0-85006940232OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-27779DiVA: diva2:1062683
Available from: 2017-01-08 Created: 2017-01-08 Last updated: 2017-04-21Bibliographically approved

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