Summer Research Fellowship Programme of India's Science Academies

Developing a silk fibroin- silver nanoparticle composite and to study the effect of solvent treatment on anti- microbial activity

Nikita Sehgal

Amity Institute of Biotechnology

Neetu Singh

Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi


Implant related infections are mainly due to the presence of biofilms which are a group of microorganisms which can bind both to biotic and abiotic surfaces. The potential of silver in the field of medicine has been known since the past 2000 years. 19th century onwards, silver based compounds were started to be exploited for their anti- microbial characteristic. AgNPs can easily aggregate into large particles because of an inter- particle dipolar force. Hence, to truly bring out the anti- bacterial properties of AgNPs, it needs to be coupled with materials like graphene oxide, silica Nano spheres or silk fibers. Silk is an interesting support material is eco- friendly, renewable, non- toxic, biodegradable and biocompatible. Hence, our lab has developed a scaffold from silk fibroin and Silver nanoparticles which can be used as an anti- microbial implant biomaterial and tested the effects on the anti- microbial activity of entrapped AgNPs after solvent treatment. Fibroin is a protein obtained from silk which has been previously used to produce bone cells out of adult stem cells. The anti- bacterial properties of AgNPs are also not unknown to us. The incorporation of AgNPs in the prepared silk fibroin from cocoons gave us promising outputs. This technique is not only propitious, but is easy, eco- friendly and convenient.

Keywords: Implant associated infections, biofilm, β- sheets, crystallinity, water, methanol

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