In situ synthesis of silver or selenium nanoparticles on cationized cellulose fabrics for antimicrobial application

Qiaoyi Wang, Lara Barnes, Konstantin Maslakov, Carol Howell, Matthew Illsley, Patricia Dyer, Irina Savina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, we developed a method to prepare inorganic nanoparticles in situ on the surface of cationized cellulose using a rapid microwave-assisted synthesis. Selenium nanoparticles (SeNPs) were employed as a novel type of antimicrobial agent and, using the same method, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) were also prepared. The results demonstrated that both SeNPs and AgNPs of about 100 nm in size were generated on the cationized cellulose fabrics. The antibacterial tests revealed that the presence of SeNPs clearly improved the antibacterial performance of cationized cellulose in the similar way as AgNPs. The functionalised fabrics demonstrated strong antibacterial activity when assessed using the challenge test method, even after repeated washing. Microscopic investigations revealed that the bacterial cells were visually damaged through contact with the functionalised fabrics. Furthermore, the functionalised fabrics showed low cytotoxicity towards human cells when tested in vitro using an indirect contact method. In conclusion, this study provides a new approach to prepare cationic cellulose fabrics functionalised with Se or Ag nanoparticles, which exhibit excellent antimicrobial performance, low cytotoxicity and good laundry durability. We have demonstrated that SeNPs can be a good alternative to AgNPs and the functionalised fabrics have great potential to serve as an anti-infective material.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111859
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering: C
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank University of Brighton for funding the project, and Dr. Jonathan Salvage for the help with SEM. Dr. K.I. Maslakov acknowledges support from Lomonosov Moscow State University Program of Development for providing access to the XPS facility and Russian Foundation of Basic Research #20-53-10005 grant. Dr. Savina acknowledges Royal Society International Exchanges 2019 Cost Share scheme (IEC\R2\192043) for supporting the visit to MSU, Russia.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Antimicrobial textiles
  • Cationization
  • Cellulose
  • Nanoparticles
  • Selenium
  • Silver


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