Silver nanoparticle-E. coli colloidal interaction in water and effect on E. coli survival

A. Dror-Ehre, H. Mamane, T. Belenkova, G. Markovich, A. Adin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Silver nanoparticles exhibit antibacterial properties via bacterial inactivation and growth inhibition. The mechanism is not yet completely understood. This work was aimed at elucidating the effect of silver nanoparticles on inactivation of Escherichia coli, by studying particle-particle interactions in aqueous suspensions. Stable, molecularly capped, positively or negatively charged silver nanoparticles were mixed at 1 to 60 μg mL-1 with suspended E. coli cells to examine their effect on inactivation of the bacteria. Gold nanoparticles with the same surfactant were used as a control, being of similar size but made up of a presumably inert metal. Log reduction of 5 log10 and complete inactivation were obtained with the silver nanoparticles while the gold nanoparticles did not show any inactivation ability. The effect of molecularly capped nanoparticles on E. coli survival was dependent on particle number. Log reduction of E. coli was associated with the ratio between the number of nanoparticles and the initial bacterial cell count. Electrostatic attraction or repulsion mechanisms in silver nanoparticle-E. coli cell interactions did not contribute to the inactivation process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-526
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Nov 2009


  • Biocolloids
  • Colloidal interaction
  • E. coli survival
  • Nanoparticles
  • Surface charge


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