The antibacterial property of silver (Ag) has been known since ancient time. It is reported in the literature that silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) exhibit improved antibacterial properties in comparison to silver ions of equivalent metallic Ag concentration. Such improvement in antibacterial activities is due to the high surface area to volume ratio of AgNPs (which facilitates interaction with the bacterial cells), increased release of silver ions and direct intra-cellular uptake of AgNPs leading to localized release of Ag ions. To date, over 300 consumer products containing AgNPs are available in the market and the inventory is rapidly expanding. The antibacterial efficacy is related to the loading of AgNPs (which controls availability of active Ag ions). It is perhaps challenging to increase AgNPs loading in consumer products without compromising its aesthetic appearance. AgNPs exhibit yellow-brown color due to strong Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) absorption; and therefore, it is expected that an increase in loading would change the color of AgNP-containing materials. For applications, such as creating a fastacting touch-safe surface, higher loading of AgNPs is desirable. It is also desirable to obtain a non-color forming surface. To meet the demands of desirable higher loading of AgNPs and noncolor forming surface, the objective of this study is to minimize SPR by engineering Ag containing nanomaterials for potential fast-acting spray-based applications. Within this thesis several reports have been made including synthesis, characterization and antibacterial properties of Ag-loaded silica nanoparticle/nanogel (AgSiNP/NG) material containing nanoformulations. The effects of nanoformulation pH and metallic Ag content on the SPR absorption and antibacterial properties have been studied. The AgSiNP/NG materials were synthesized using silica sol-gel technique at room temperature in water. The color formation of the AgSiNP/NG iv material was found to be dependent on silver ion loading (15.4 wt% and 42.3 wt %) as well as on the pH (pH 4.0 and pH 7.0). A number of material characterization techniques such as HRTEM, SEM and AFM were used to characterize particle size, crystalline and surface morphology in dry state. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) technique was used to characterize particle size and size distribution in solution. UV-VIS spectroscopy technique was applied to characterize Ag ions and AgNPs in the AgSiNP/NG material. Antibacterial studies were conducted against gram negative E.coli and gram positive B.subtilis and S.aureus. A number of qualitative (well diffusion, BacLightTM live-dead® viability) and quantitative (turbidity, resazurin viability) assays were used for antibacterial studies. It was observed that lower pH and low Ag loading minimized SPR absorption, resulting in no yellow-brown color formation. The HRTEM confirmed the formation of ~5-25 nm size highly crystalline AgNPs which were coated with dielectric silica layer (silica gel). AFM, SEM and DLS studies confirmed formation of AgSiNPs in the range between 100 nm – 200 nm. The AgSiNP/NG material was effective against both gram-negative and grampositive bacteria. Based on this research it is suggested that by coating AgNPs with a dielectric material (such as silica); it is possible to suppress SPR absorption.


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Graduation Date





Santra, Swadeshmukul


Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Medicine


Molecular Biology and Microbiology

Degree Program










Release Date

June 2015

Length of Campus-only Access

3 years

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Medicine;Medicine -- Dissertations, Academic