We report here on synthesis and characterization of novel hybrid material consisting of silver nanoparticles (nAgs) embedded in calcium carbonate microparticles (μ-CaCO3) serving as carriers for sustained release. nAgs are commonly used as antimicrobial agents in many commercial products (textiles, cosmetics, and drugs). Although they are considered to be safe, their interactions with human organisms are still not fully understood; therefore it is important to apply them with caution and limit their presence in the environment. The synthesis of the new material was based on the co-precipitation of CaCO3 and nAg in the presence of poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate). Such designed system enables sustained release of nAg to the environment. This hybrid colloidal material (nAg/μ-CaCO3) was characterized by microscopic and spectroscopic methods. The release of nAg from μ-CaCO3 microparticles was followed in water at various pH values. Microbiological tests confirmed the effectiveness of these microparticles as an antibacterial agent. Importantly, the material can be stored as a dry powder and subsequently re-suspended in water without the risk of losing its antimicrobial activity. nAg/μ-CaCO3 was applied here to insure bacteriostatic properties of down feathers that may significantly prolong their lifetime in typical applications. Such microparticles may be also used as, e.g., components of coatings and paints protecting various surfaces against microorganism colonization.
Silver nanoparticlesAntimicrobial agentCalcium carbonate microparticlesControlled release