Improved Antimicrobial Properties of Methylene Blue Attached to Silver Nanoparticles

Research performed at:

1. Western Kentucky University, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Bowling Green, KY 42101.

2. Western Kentucky University, Department of Biology, Bowling Green, KY 42101

The authors:

Ermek Belekov, Khomidkhodza Kholikov, Lauren Cooper, Simran Banga, Ali O.Er.

Photosensitizing agents are the cornerstone of Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) that play essential role in deactivation process of multidrug resistant pathogens and tumor treatments. In this work, we studied a photosensitizing agent made from mixture of Silver Nanoparticles (Ag NPs) and Methylene Blue (MB) which possess improved important characteristics like high photostability and high singlet oxygen yield.

Ag NPs were synthesized by pulsed laser ablation technique in different aqueous solutions like polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), citrate and Deionized (DI) water. The synthesized AgNPs were characterized in depth using with transmission electron microscopy (TEM), UV-Visible (UV-Vis), and photoluminescence (PL) spectra. These Ag NPs were combined with MB and used to eradicate the Gram-negative bacteria, Escherichia coli (E. coli), and Gram-positive bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). MB and Ag NPs mixture was found to possess higher antimicrobial activity and thus were more effective in killing both Gram–positive and Gram-negative bacteria in comparison to individual exposure of MB and Ag NPs.

Additionally, the antimicrobial effects varied with respect to the size of nanoparticles as well as the medium used for their synthesis. The data from this study supports the potential use of the proposed method in PDT where standard photosensitizers have limitations.