Copper nanoparticle/polymer composites with antifungal and bacteriostatic properties

Nicola Cioffi, Luisa Torsi*, Nicoletta Ditaranto, Giuseppina Tantillo, Lina Ghibelli, Luigia Sabbatini, Teresa Bleve-Zacheo, Maria D'Alessio, P. Giorgio Zambonin, Enrico Traversa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

720 Scopus citations


A spinnable coating capable of releasing metal species to a broth of living organisms in a controlled manner is an extremely interesting material for a number of biotechnological applications. Polymer/ metal nanocomposites are a viable choice but very little is known about their biological properties. Here, a polymer based nanocomposite loading stabilized copper nanoparticles is proposed as a biostatic coating and systematic correlations between material properties and biological effects are established. Experimental proof of the nanocomposite capability to release metal species in a controlled manner and eventually to slow or even inhibit the growth of living organisms, such as fungi and other pathogenic microorganisms, are provided. The biostatic activity is correlated to the nanoparticle loading that controls the release of copper species, independently evaluated by means of electro-thermal atomic absorption spectroscopy. Insights into the understanding of the controlled releasing process, involving CuO dissolution through the nanoclusters stabilizing layer, are also proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5255-5262
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number21
StatePublished - Oct 18 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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