Inderscience Publishers

Nanocomposite materials with antimicrobial activity based on chitosan

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Chitosan nanoparticles (CNP) were prepared by ionic gelation using sodium tripolyphosphate. Metal–enhanced CNP were prepared using the same procedure in the presence of Cu
2+
and Ag
+
, respectively. The nanoparticulate materials were characterised by FTIR, SEM and antimicrobial assays. The CNP showed higher antimicrobial effect than chitosan against S. saprophyticus and E. coli. The effect did not seem to depend on the molecular weight of the starting chitosan. Cu
2+
and Ag
+
, both known as antimicrobial agents, showed synergistic effects with chitosan against both organisms. The skin regenerative potential of CNP and metal–enhanced CNP was tested by assessing skin cell (fibroblast, keratinocyte) proliferation. The present study also suggests that chitosan and its nanoparticles inhibits MMP–1 expression in skin fibroblasts and keratinocytes, and may thereby inhibit skin aging and facilitate the ECM remodelling phase of wound healing.

Keywords: chitosan nanoparticles, CNP, ionic gelation, antimicrobial activity, FTIR, synergistic effects, skin aging inhibition, wound healing, sodium tripolyphosphate, S saprophyticus, E coli, skin regeneration, skin fibroblasts, skin keratinocytes

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