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Cellulose Acetate and Silver Nanoparticles
Natural patterns and structures provide inspiration for scientists of diverse technological backgrounds to create artificial products (from different materials) with similar properties as naturally occurring products. One such pattern is the naturally occurring honeycomb-like pattern (HCP). The surfaces of products with this pattern consists of thousands of interconnected hexagonally formed cells that create an efficient structure with a large surface area. The HCP, due to its excellent properties, such as structural and mechanical strength, low density, and porosity, has found applications in several areas, including architecture, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and biomedicine. HCP-like structures have also been widely used as carriers in tissue engineering (TE).
Fluorinated ethylene propylene modified by plasma treatment was used as a suitable substrate for the formation of the HCP structures. Further, we modified the HCP structures using silver sputtering (discontinuous Ag nanoparticles) or by adding Ag nanoparticles in PEG into the cellulose acetate solution. The material morphology was then determined using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), while the material surface chemistry was studied using energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and wettability was analyzed with goniometry. The AFM and SEM results revealed that the surface morphology of pristine HCP with hexagonal pores changed after additional sample modification with Ag, both via the addition of nanoparticles and sputtering, accompanied with an increase in the roughness of the PEG-doped samples, which was caused by the high molecular weight of PEG and its gel-like structure. The highest amount (approx. 25 at %) of fluorine was detected using the EDS method on the sample with an HCP-like structure, while the lowest amount (0.08%) was measured on the PEG + Ag sample, which revealed the covering of the substrate with biopolymer (the greater fluorine extent means more of the fluorinated substrate is exposed). As expected, the thickness of the Ag layer on the HCP surface depended on the length of sputtering (either 150 s or 500 s). The sputtering times for Ag (150 s and 500 s) corresponded to layers with heights of about 8 nm (3.9 at % of Ag) and 22 nm (10.8 at % of Ag), respectively. In addition, we evaluated the antibacterial potential of the prepared substrate using two bacterial strains, one Gram-positive of S. epidermidis and one Gram-negative of E. coli. The most effective method for the construction of antibacterial surfaces was determined to be sputtering (150 s) of a silver nanolayer onto a HCP-like cellulose structure, which proved to have excellent antibacterial properties against both G+ and G− bacterial strains.
2. HCP-Like Films
The entry is from 10.3390/ma14144051
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