Antimicrobial films and coatings inhibit bacterial growth and have practical applications in public environments. Because bacteria can develop resistance to antibiotics, an alternative is to use silver. Studies indicate that silver cations diffuse through the bacterial membrane and cause cell death by disrupting DNA replication and ATP production. Polymer films containing silver-loaded montmorillonite are a good candidate to study biocidal effects, because they are more durable than polymers that lack fillers and possibly better control the delivery of silver cations.
The antimicrobial effect of films of PLA2002D containing Laponite co-exchanged with Ag+ is being tested. Films will be soaked in pure H2O to monitor the rate at which Ag+ leaches from the matrix. Films will also be incorporated into inoculated LB media to determine their antimicrobial effect against DH5α-T1 cells over a period of 15 h.