Antifungal activity of transparent nanocomposite thin films of pullulan and silver against Aspergillus niger


Silver has been mainly investigated as an antibacterial agent and less as a fungicide in which concerns antimicrobial properties. In this research, the antifungal activity of composite films of pullulan and Ag nanoparticles (NP) against Aspergillus niger was evaluated using standard protocols. These new materials were prepared as transparent cast films (66-74 mu m thickness) from Ag hydrosols containing the polysaccharide. Fungal growth inhibition was observed in the presence of such silver nanocomposite films. Moreover, disruption of the spores cells of A. niger was probed for the first time by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM). This effect occurred in the presence of the nanocomposites due to Ag NP dispersed as fillers in pullulan. This polysaccharide was used here as a biocompatible matrix, hence making these nanocomposites beneficial for the development of antifungal packaging materials. (c) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.



subject category

Biophysics; Chemistry; Materials Science


Pinto, RJB; Almeida, A; Fernandes, SCM; Freire, CSR; Silvestre, AJD; Neto, CP; Trindade, T

our authors


R. Pinto is grateful to FCT for a PhD grant (SFRH/BD/45364/2008). Susana C.M. Fernandes thanks FCT for funding her Postdoctoral Research Grant (SFRH/BPD/70119/2010). We thank Dr Marcia Neves for her kind assistance in the XRD analyses. The authors also thank FCT for funding CICECO (Pest-C/CTM/LA0011/2011) and CESAM (Pest-C/MAR/LA0017/2011).

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