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Environmental Science: Nano ; 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-2083149


For the first time, we exploited the antiviral and antibacterial properties of Ag NPs stabilised by quaternized hydroxyethyl cellulose (Ag-HEC) against SARS-CoV-2 and Escherichia coli through an eco-friendly process at room temperature in three different environments: 1) water, where Ag was dispersed as a nanosol, 2) textiles, where Ag was applied as a coating, and 3) hydrogel where Ag is embedded. The antiviral performance of Ag-HEC nanosols was quantified through the selectivity index (SI), defined as the ratio between 50% cytotoxic and inhibitory concentration, in order to evaluate the ability to be active in a concentration range below the cytotoxicity value. The collected results pointed out an actual enhanced risk/benefit profile of Ag-HEC NPs with respect to chloroquine, with an SI of 22.2 and 8.4, respectively. Antibacterial and antiviral activities of Ag-HEC NPs immobilized on textiles or mucosa-like hydrogels were also assessed and their efficacy in potential application as protective clothing or nasal molecular masks was verified. This work demonstrated that a modern, safe and sustainable design allows traditional colloidal silver-based technologies to be efficiently exploited for a broad spectrum of antimicrobial solutions against bacterial and viral infections.

Nanomaterials (Basel) ; 11(8)2021 Aug 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376917


Polypyrrole (PPy) nanoparticles (NPs) are used for the coating of materials, such as textiles, with biomedical applications, including wound care and tissue engineering, but they are also promising antibacterial agents. In this work, PPy NPs were used for the spray-coating of textiles with antimicrobial properties. The functional properties of the materials were verified, and their safety was evaluated. Two main exposure scenarios for humans were identified: inhalation of PPy NPs during spray (manufacturing) and direct skin contact with NPs-coated fabrics (use). Thus, the toxicity properties of PPy NPs and PPy-coated textiles were assessed by using in vitro models representative of the lung and the skin. The results from the materials' characterization showed the stability of both the PPy NP suspension and the textile coating, even after washing cycles and extraction in artificial sweat. Data from an in vitro model of the air-blood barrier showed the low toxicity of these NPs, with no alteration of cell viability and functionality observed. The skin toxicity of PPy NPs and the coated textiles was assessed on a reconstructed human epidermis model following OECD 431 and 439 guidelines. PPy NPs proved to be non-corrosive at the tested conditions, as well as non-irritant after extraction in artificial sweat at two different pH conditions. The obtained data suggest that PPy NPs are safe NMs in applications for textile coating.

J Appl Polym Sci ; 138(46): 51380, 2021 Dec 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1323858


In response to the nowadays battle against SARS-CoV-2, we designed a new class of high performant filter media suitable to advance the facemask technology and provide new efficient widespread solutions against virus propagation. By means of the electrospinning technology we developed filter media based on polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) nanofibers doped with AgNPs combining three main performance requirements: high air filtration efficiency to capture nanometer-size particles, low airflow resistance essential to ensure breathability and antimicrobial activity to inactivate aerosolized microorganisms. PVA/AgNPs electrospun nanofibers were produced by electrospinning the dispersion of colloidal silver into the PVA water solution. A widespread physicochemical characterization was addressed to the Ag colloidal suspension. The key functional performances of the electrospun nanofibers were proven by water stability, antibacterial activity, and filtration efficiency and pressure drop measurements performed under conditions representative of facemasks. We assessed a total bacterial depletion associated to a filtering efficiency towards nano-aerosolized particles of 97.7% higher than required by the EN149 standard and a pressure drop in line with FFP1 and FFP2 masks, even at the highest filtration velocity. Such results pave the way to the application of PVA/AgNPs electrospun nanofibers in facemasks as advanced filtering media for protecting against airborne microorganisms.