Profiling and Characterization of Silver, Zinc Oxide and hybrid Silver/Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles for antimicrobial properties
Recent studies have shown that treatments involving nanoparticles at low concentrations have less toxic effects when used in the body and are more effective in therapies. Research shows metal and metal oxide nanoparticles have increased skin penetration by several fold, also decrease the susceptibility of infection and induce cellular proliferation in wound healing applications. Silver and zinc oxide are well known for both antimicrobial and pro-healing properties. In this study, we have tested the synergistic effect of Silver (Ag) and Zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles as antimicrobial agent against bacteria and fungal organisms. Silver/Zinc oxide (Ag/ZnO) nanoparticles were synthesized using a custom built, temperature controlled microwave assisted technique. The as-synthesized nanoparticles were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) techniques to study the crystalline structure, composition, particle size, morphology and purity. These results indicated that the as-prepared Ag nanoparticles are spherical in shape and ~20nm in sizes. The ZnO nanoparticles are typically rod shaped and the particle sizes are ~20nm in width and 100nm in length. These particles were tested for antibacterial and /or antifungal properties using standard disk diffusion and plate count assays. Results show that hybrid Ag/ZnO nanoparticles have antimicrobial activities against Escerichia coli and Candida albicans at minimum concentration of 4 mg/mL, suggesting that these nanoparticles could potentially be used to counter infections by these organisms.