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The reduction of Ag+ in metallic silver on pseudomelanin films allows for antibacterial activity but does not imply unpaired electrons

: Ball, V.; Nguyen, I.; Haupt, M.; Oehr, C.; Arnoult, C.; Toniazzo, V.; Ruch, D.


Journal of colloid and interface science 364 (2011), No.2, pp.359-365
ISSN: 0021-9797
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IGB ()

Dopamine-melanin films produced through the oxidation of dopamine in the presence of oxygen as an oxidant allow to reduce silver ions onto silver particles as already described in the paper by Lee et al. (H. Lee, S.M. Dellatore, W.M. Miller, P.B. Messersmith, Science 318 (2007) 426.). This reduction process has to occur through the oxidation of moieties present in the melanin film. This investigation shows that the free radicals present in the pseudomelanin film, quantified by means of electron spin resonance spectroscopy (ESR) for the first time, are not used in the transformation of Ag+ cations to deposit silver. The ESR signal is hardly affected by the deposition of silver particles. On the other hand, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy shows a small increase in the density of quinone groups and a small decrease of catechol groups on the surface of the film during the deposition of silver. This suggests that the deposited pseudomelanin films contain a significant fract ion of catechol groups able to trigger reduction processes of metallic cations. These silver nanoparticles remain adherent to the melanin films and allow for a quantitative killing of Escherichia coli over a broad range of bacterial dilutions. However, the presence of the bacteria induces a release of the nanoparticles. The pseudomelanin films cannot be reused again for a silver ion reduction step. Nevertheless, the easy preparation of the pseudomelanin-silver composite and its effective one shot bacterial killing activity renders the strategy presented in this paper attractive. Some fundamental questions about redox process allowed by the pseudomelanin films will also be asked.