UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Antimicrobial Activity of 3D-Printed Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) Polymer-Coated with Silver Nanoparticles Tse, Isabel; Jay, Atishay; Na, Ina; Murphy, Sean; Niño-Martínez, Nereida; Martínez-Castañon, Gabriel Alejandro; Magrill, Jamie; Bach, Horacio


Medical devices with antimicrobial properties are a potential long-term solution to the high rate of multi-drug-resistant healthcare-associated infections. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are an established agent for effectively eliminating a wide range of microbial strains. AgNPs have been commonly incorporated into traditional plastic materials; however, recently, there has been increased interest in using AgNPs combined with 3D-printing technology for medical devices due to the accessibility and customizability of 3D-printed products. This study reports a novel method of utilizing acetone to partially dissolve 3D-printed polymer acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic to attach a layer of AgNPs. The antimicrobial properties of this AgNP-coated surface were tested against several microbial strains prevalent in healthcare-associated infections. AgNP-coated ABS (AgNP-ABS) plastic demonstrated significant elimination of viable bacteria within 4 h for all tested bacterial species (Acinetobacter baumannii, non-pathogenic and pathogenic Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and within 19 h for the tested fungus Candida albicans. The longevity of adhesion of AgNPs to the ABS plastic was assessed by checking antibacterial activity against A. baumannii after repeat use cycles. AgNP-ABS plastic showed decreased antibacterial efficacy with repeated use but maintained the ability to eliminate microbes within 3 h for up to eight use cycles. The AgNP-coated ABS plastic showed efficacy as an antimicrobial surface, and future studies will consider its applicability in the production of medical devices.

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