Rolband, L., Godakhindi, V., Vivero-Escoto, J. L., & Afonin, K. A. (2023). Demonstrating the synthesis and antibacterial properties of nanostructured silver. Journal Of Chemical Education. https://doi.org/doi:10.1021/acs.jchemed.3c00125
Graduate, Investigating and understanding novel antibacterial agents is a necessary task as there is a constant increase in the number of multidrug-resistant bacterial species. The use of nanotechnology to combat drug-resistant bacteria is an important research area. The laboratory experiment described herein demonstrates that changes in the nanostructure of a material lead to significantly different antibacterial efficacies. Silver has been known to be an effective antibacterial agent throughout history, but its therapeutic uses are limited when present as either the bulk material or cations in solution. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and DNA-templated silver nanoclusters (DNA-AgNCs) are both nanostructured silver materials that show vastly different antibacterial activities when incubated with E. coli in liquid culture. This work aims to provide students with hands-on experience in the synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials and basic microbiology skills; moreover, it is applicable to undergraduate and graduate curricula.