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Green synthesis of silver and copper nanoparticles using ascorbic acid and chitosan for antimicrobial applications

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journal contribution
posted on 29.10.2014, 14:51 by N.M. Zain, Andy StapleyAndy Stapley, Gilbert Shama
Silver and copper nanoparticles were produced by chemical reduction of their respective nitrates by ascorbic acid in the presence of chitosan using microwave heating. Particle size was shown to increase by increasing the concentration of nitrate and reducing the chitosan concentration. Surface zeta potentials were positive for all nanoparticles produced and these varied from 27.8 to 33.8 mV. Antibacterial activities of Ag, Cu, mixtures of Ag and Cu, and Ag/Cu bimetallic nanoparticles were tested using Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli. Of the two, B. subtilis proved more susceptible under all conditions investigated. Silver nanoparticles displayed higher activity than copper nanoparticles and mixtures of nanoparticles of the same mean particle size. However when compared on an equal concentration basis Cu nanoparticles proved more lethal to the bacteria due to a higher surface area. The highest antibacterial activity was obtained with bimetallic Ag/Cu nanoparticles with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of 0.054 and 0.076 mg/L against B. subtilis and E. coli, respectively.


NMZ thanks the Ministry of Education, Malaysia, University Malaysia Pahang and Loughborough University for financial support.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Chemical Engineering

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195 - 202 (8)


ZAIN, N.M., STAPLEY, A.G.F. and SHAMA, G., 2014. Green synthesis of silver and copper nanoparticles using ascorbic acid and chitosan for antimicrobial applications. Carbohydrate Polymers, 112, pp. 195 - 202.


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AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Carbohydrate Polymers. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Carbohydrate Polymers, 112, November 2014, DOI: 10.1016/j.carbpol.2014.05.081