Lysozyme Catalyzes the Formation of Antimicrobial Silver Nanoparticles (POSTPRINT)
UNIVERSAL TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION TYNDALL AFB FL
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Hen egg white lysozyme acted as the sole reducing agent and catalyzed the formation of silver nanoparticles in the presence of light. Stable silver colloids formed after mixing lysozyme and silver acetate in methanol and the resulting nanoparticles were concentrated and transferred to aqueous solution without any significant changes in physical properties. Activity and antimicrobial assays demonstrated lysozyme-silver nanoparticles retained the hydrolase function of the enzyme and were effective in inhibiting growth of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus anthracis, and Candida albicans. Remarkably, lysozyme-silver nanoparticles demonstrated a strong antimicrobial effect against silver-resistant Proteus mirabilis strains and a recombinant E. coli strain containing the multiple antibiotic- and silver-resistant plasmid, pMG101. Results of toxicological studies using human epidermal keratinocytes revealed that lysozyme-silver nanoparticles are nontoxic at concentrations sufficient to inhibit microbial growth. Overall, the ability of lysozyme to assemble silver nanoparticles in a one-step reaction offers a simple and environmentally friendly approach to form stable colloids of nontoxic silver nanoparticles that combine the antimicrobial properties of lysozyme and silver. The results expand the functionality of nanomaterials for biological systems and represent a novel antimicrobial composite for potential aseptics and therapeutic use in the future.
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