Gamma irradiation induced surface modification of silk fabrics for antibacterial application

Document Type : Research Article


Department of Radiation Chemistry, National Center for Radiation Research and Technology, P. N.13759, Cairo, Egypt


Silk fabrics were modified by a treatment of silver nitrate solution (AgNO3) and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) as a stabilizer then exposure to γ-irradiation to create antibacterial properties. Effects of the absorbed dose on treated fabrics were investigated. The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns were used to confirm the presence of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on the fabric. The treated fabrics should have enhanced thermal stability due to the presence of AgNPs. The treated silk fabric was examined for its antibacterial activity toward various types of bacteria. The AgNPs-treated silk fabrics demonstrated excellent antibacterial activity against the tested bacteria, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. This work opens the door for production of specific AgNPs-silk as a type of textile in the antibacterial domain.


  • Fabrics were carried out by coating with silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) stabilized with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) through γ-irradiation.
  • The AgNPs-coated silk fabrics demonstrated an excellent antibacterial activity against the tested bacteria, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.
  • This work offers potentials to produce specific AgNPs-coated antimicrobial silk for various applications in the textile industry.


[1] D.M. Phillips, L.F. Drummy, D.G. Conrady, D.M. Fox, R.R. Naik, M.O. Stone, P.C. Trulove, H.C. De Long, R.A. Mantz, Dissolution and regeneration Bombyx mori Silk fibroin using ionic liquids, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 126 (2004) 14350-14351.
[2] H.J. Jin, J. Park, R. Cebe, P. Valluzzi, D.L. Kaplan, Biomaterial films of Bom-byx mori silk fibroin with poly(ethylene oxide), Biomacromolecules 5 (2004) 711-717.
[3] G. Arai, G.M. Colonna, E. Scotti, A. Boschi, R. Murakami, M.T. Tsukada, Absorption of metal cations by modified B. mori silk and preparation of fabrics with antimicrobial activity, J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 80 (2001) 297-303.
[4] V. Scognamiglio, Nanotechnology in glucose monitoring: advances and challenges in the last 10 years, Biosens. Bioelectron. 47 (2013) 12-25.
[5] Z.S. Lu, C.X. Guo, H.B. Yang, Y. Qiao, J. Guo, C.M. Li, One-step aqueous synthesis of graphene-CdTe quantum dot-composed nanosheet and its enhanced photoresponses, J. Colloid Interf. Sci. 353 (2011) 588-592.
[6] Z.S. Lu, W.H. Hu, H.F. Bao, Y. Qiao, C.M. Li, Interaction mechanisms of CdTe quantum dots with proteins possessing different isoelectric points, Med. Chem. Commun. 2 (2011) 283286.
[7]Z.S.Lu,C.M.Li,Quantumdot-basednanocomposites for biomedical applications, Curr. Med. Chem. 18 (2011) 3516-3528.
[8] Z.S. Lu, C.M. Li, H.F. Bao, Y. Qiao, Q.L. Bao, Photophysical mechanism for quantum dots- induced bacterial growth inhibition, J. Nanosci. Nanotechnol. 9 (2009) 3252-3255.
[9] Z.S. Lu, C.M. Li, H.F. Bao, Y. Qiao, Y. Toh, X. Yang, Mechanism of antimicrobial activity of CdTe quantum dots, Langmuir 24 (2008) 5445-5452.
[10] E. Amato, Y.A. Diaz-Fernandez, A. Taglietti, P. Pallavicini, L. Pasotti, L. Cucca, C. Milanese, P. Grisoli, C. Dacarro, J.M. Fernandez-Hechavarria, Synthesis, characterization and antibacterial activity against Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria of biomimetically coated silver nanoparticles, Langmuir 27 (2011) 9165-9173.
[11] L.Y. Guo, W.Y. Yuan, S. Lu, C.M. Li, Polymer/ nanosilver composite coatings for antibacterial applications, Colloid Surface A 439 (2013) 69-83.
[12] W.D. Yu, T. Kuzuya, S. Hirai, Y. Tamada, K. Sawada, T. Iwasa, Preparation of Ag nanoparticle dispersed silk fibroin compact, Appl. Surf. Sci. 262 (2012) 212-217.
[13] L. He, S.Y. Gao, H. Wu, X.P. Liao, Q. He, B. Shi, Antibacterial activity of silver nanoparticles stabilized on tannin grafted collagen fiber, Mater. Sci. Eng. C 32 (2012) 1050-1056.
[14]J.J. Wu, G.J. Lee, Y.S. Chen, T.L. Hu, The synthesis of nano silver/polypropylene plasticsfor antibacterial application, Curr. Appl. Phys. 12 (2012) S89-S95.
[15] R. Bhattacharya, P. Mukherjee, Biological properties of “naked” metal nanoparticles, Adv. DrugDeliver. Rev. 60 (2008) 1289-1306.
[16] S. Shahidi and J. Wiener, Antimicrobial AgentsChapter 19: Antibacterial Agents in Textile Industry; InTech: Rijeka, Crotia, 2012, pp. 387-406.
[17] Y. Gao, R. Cranston, Recent advances in antimicrobial treatments of textiles, Text. Res. J. 78 (2008) 60-72.
[18]J. Hasan, R.J. Crawford, E.P. Ivanova,Antibacterial surfaces: The quest for a new generation of biomaterials, Trends Biotechnol. 31 (2013) 295-304.
[19] B. Simoncic, B. Tomsic, Structures of novel antimicrobial agents for textiles-A review, Text. Res. J. 80 (2010) 1721-1737.
[20] H. Palza, Antimicrobial polymers with metal nanoparticles, Int. J. Mol. Sci. 16 (2015) 2099-2116.
[21] D. Zhang, G.W. Toh, H. Lin, Y.Y. Chen, In situ synthesis of silver nanoparticles on silk fabric with PNP for antibacterial finishing, J. Mater. Sci. 47 (2012) 5721-5728.
[22] S. Tangbunsuk, G.R. Whittell, M.G. Ryadnov, G.W.M. Vandermeulen, D.N. Woolfson, I. Manners, Metallopolymer-peptide hybrid materials: Synthesis andSelf-AssemblyofFunctional,PolyferrocenylsilaneTetrapeptide Conjugates, Chem.-Eur. J. 18 (2012) 2524-2535.
[23] X.M. Wang, W.R. Gao, S.P. Xu, W.Q. Xu, Luminescent fibers: in situ synthesis of silver nanoclusters on silk via ultraviolet light-induced reduction and their antibacterial activity, Chem. Eng. J. 210 (2012) 585-589.
[24] A.R. Abbasi, A. Morsali, Influence of various reduction reagents on the morphological properties of Ag nanoparticles@silk fiber prepared using sonochemical method, J. Inorg. Organomet. P. 21 (2011) 369-375.
[25] S.T. Dubas, P. Kimlangdudsana, P. Potiyaraj, Layer-by-layer deposition of antimicrobial silver nanoparticles on textile fibers, Colloid. Surface. A 289 (2006) 105-109.
[26] P. Gupta, M. Bajpai, S.K. Bajpai, Investigation of antibacterial properties of silver nanoparticle-loaded poly (acrylamide-co-itaconic acid)-grafted cotton fabric, J. Cotton Sci. 12 (2008) 280-286.
[27] M. Mirjalili, N. Yaghmaei1, M. Mirjalili, Antibacterial properties of nano silver finish cellulose fabric, J. Nanostruct. Chem. 3 (2013) 43.
[28] A.I. Wasif, S.K. Laga, Use of nano silver as an antimicrobial agent for cotton, AUTEX Res. J. 9 (2009) 5-13.
[29] IAEA: Elemental analysis of biological materials, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, Technical Reports series No. 197 (1980) 379.
[30] Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute, Performance Standards for Antimicrobial Disk Susceptibility Tests; Approved Standard-Ninth Edition, Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute document M2-A9 (ISBN 1-56238-586-0), 940 West Valley Road, Suite 1400, Wayne, Pennsylvania 19087-1898 USA, 2006.
[31] I. Perelshtein, G.Applerot, N. Perkas, Sonochemical coating ofsilver nanoparticles on textile fabrics(nylon, polyester and cotton) and their antibacterial activity and their antibacterial activity , Nanotechnology 19 (2008) 245705.
[32] B. Liu, W.Z. Chen, S.W. Jin, Synthesis, structural characterization, and luminescence of new silver aggregates containing shortAg-Ag contactsstabilized by functionalized bis (N-heterocyclic carbene) ligands, Organometallics 26 (2007) 3660-3667.
[33] Q. Lu, X. Hu, X.Q. Wang, J.A. Kluge, S.Z. Lu, P. Cebe, D.L. Kaplan, Water-insoluble silk films with silk I structure, Acta Biomater., 6 (2010) 1380-1387.
[34] X. Zou, E. Ying, S. Dong, Preparation of novel silver gold bimetallic nanostructures by seeding with silver nanoplates and application in surface enhanced Raman scattering, J. Colloid Interf. Sci. 306 (2007) 307-315.
[35] X.X. Feng, L.L. Zhang, J.Y. Chen, Y.H. Guo, H.P. Zhang, C.I. Jia, Preparation and characterization of novel nanocomposite films formed from silk fibroin and nano-TiO2, Int. J. Biol. Macromol. 40 (2007) 105-111.
[36] L. Piao, K.H. Lee, B.K. Min, W. Kim, Y.R. Do, S. Yoon, A facile synthetic method of silver nanoparticles with a continuous size range from sub10 nm to 40 nm, Bull. Korean Chem. Soc. 32 (2011) 117-121.
[37] F. Chen, Y. Liu, R.E. Wasylishen, Z.H. Kuznicki, Solid-state NMR and TGA studies of silver reduction in chabazite, J. Nanosci. Nanotechno. 12 (2012) 1988-1993.
[38] M.A.M. Khan, S. Kumar, M. Ahamed, S.A. Alrokayan, M.S.AlSalhi, Structural and thermalstudies of silver nanoparticles and electrical transport study of their thin film, Nanoscale Res. Lett. 6 (2011) 434.
[39] S.A. Khan, A. Ahmad, M.I. Khan, M. Yusuf, M. Shahid, N. Manzoor, F. Mohammad, Antimicrobial activity of wool yarn dyed with Rheum emodi L. (Indian Rhubarb), Dyes Pigments 95 (2012) 206-214.