Sonochemical coating of textiles with hybrid ZnO/chitosan antimicrobial nanoparticles

Petya Petkova, Antonio Francesko, Margarida M. Fernandes, Ernest Mendoza, Ilana Perelshtein, Aharon Gedanken, Tzanko Tzanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

193 Scopus citations


Textiles are good substrates for growth of microorganisms especially under moisture and temperature conditions found in hospitals. Microbial shedding from the body occurs continuously at contact of the patient with textile materials used in medical practices, contributing to the occurrence of hospital acquired infections. Thus, the use of efficient antimicrobial textiles is necessary to prevent the transfer of pathogens and the infection incidence. In this work, hybrid antimicrobial coatings were generated on cotton fabrics by means of a one-step simultaneous sonochemical deposition of ZnO nanoparticles (NPs) and chitosan. The process was further optimized in terms of reagents concentration and processing time in order to improve the antibacterial properties of the fabric and ensure their biocompatibility. The highest antibacterial activity of the fabrics against two medically relevant bacterial species was achieved in a 30 min sonochemical coating process using 2 mM ZnO NPs suspension. When chitosan was simultaneously deposited with the same amount of ZnO, the obtained hybrid NPs coating displayed higher by 48 and 17% antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, respectively. The presence of biopolymer also improved the durability of the antimicrobial effect of the coatings by 21% for Staphylococcus aureus and 40% for Escherichia coli, evaluated after applying multiple washing cycles at hospital laundering regimes. Finally, 87% biocompatibility improvement supported by fibroblast viability was observed for the hybrid ZnO/chitosan coating compared to the steady decrease of cells viability over one week in contact with the fabrics coated with ZnO alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1164-1172
Number of pages9
JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
Issue number2
StatePublished - 22 Jan 2014


  • antibacterial coatings
  • chitosan
  • hybrid nanoparticles
  • medical textiles
  • sonochemistry
  • zinc oxide


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