Preparation, Characterization and Antibacterial Properties of Silver-Chitosan Nanocomposites Using Different Molecular Weight Grades of Chitosan

  • S Honary
  • K Ghajar
  • P Khazaeli
  • P Shalchian
Keywords: Chitosan, Antibacterial activity, Silver nanoparticles, Molecular weight, Particle size, Dynamic light scattering, Laser Doppler electrophoresis


Purpose: To study the effect of chitosan molecular weight on the physicochemical and antibacterial properties of silver-chitosan nanoparticles.
Methods: A series of silver-chitosan nanoparticles of different sizes were produced using various molecular weight (MW) grades of chitosan by an aqueous chemical reduction method. The nanoparticles were characterized by ultraviolet-visible absorption spectroscopy (UV-Vis), scanning
electron microscopy (SEM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic light scattering (DLS) and laser Doppler electrophoresis (LDE). The antibacterial properties of the nanoparticles were also evaluated by agar diffusion method.
Results: The size of the silver-chitosan nanoparticles, ranging from 21.9 to 175.3 nm, was influenced by chitosan MW as well as by other process conditions. Although, the nanoparticles were not stable in liquid form, they however showed good stability in the solid state due to their low zeta potential. SEM images indicate that the nanoparticles were spherical. The antibacterial activity of the nanoparticles against Staphylococcus aureus increased with decrease in particle size owing to increase in surface
area. The smallest particle size (21.9 nm) was obtained by using high chitosan MW at 4 °C and a stirring speed of 800 rpm.
Conclusion: Chitosan is an effective agent for the preparation of silver nanoparticles. The size of the nanoparticles can be modulated by varying both chitosan MW and process conditions such as temperature and stirring speed.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9827
print ISSN: 1596-5996