Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2021 Apr 2. doi: 10.1007/s00253-021-11221-1. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Conducting polymer based nanocomposites are known to be effective against pathogens. Herein, we report the antimicrobial properties of multifunctional polypyrrole-cobalt oxide-silver nanocomposite (PPy-Co3O4-AgNPs) for the first time. Antibacterial activities were tested against multi-drug-resistant Gram-negative Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Gram-positive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria, while antiamoebic effects were assessed against opportunistic protist Acanthamoeba castellanii (A. castellanii).
RESULTS: The ternary nanocomposite containing conducting polymer polypyrrole, cobalt oxide, and silver nanoparticles showed potent antimicrobial effects against these pathogens. The antibacterial assay showed that PPy-Co3O4-AgNPs exhibited significant bactericidal activity against neuropathogenic E. coli K1 at only 8 μg/mL as compared to individual components of the nanocomposite, whereas a 70 % inhibition of A. castellanii viability was observed at 50 μg/mL. Moreover, PPy-Co3O4-AgNPs were found to have minimal cytotoxicity against human keratinocytes HaCaT cells in vitro even at higher concentration (50 μg/mL), and also reduced the microbes-mediated cytopathogenicity against host cells.
CONCLUSION: These results demonstrate that PPy-Co3O4-AgNPs hold promise in the development of novel antimicrobial nanomaterials for biomedical applications.
KEY POINTS: •Synthesis of polypyrrole-cobalt oxide-silver (PPy-Co3O4-AgNPs) nanocomposite. •Antimicrobial activity of nanocomposite. •PPy-Co3O4-AgNPs hold promise for biomedical applications.