Beyond the Nanomaterials Approach: Influence of Culture Conditions on the Stability and Antimicrobial Activity of Silver Nanoparticles
journal contributionposted on 2020-10-27, 00:13 authored by Roberto Vazquez-Muñoz, Nina Bogdanchikova, Alejandro Huerta-Saquero
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) as antimicrobial agents have been extensively studied. It is generally assumed that their inhibitory activity heavily depends on their physicochemical features. Yet, other parameters may affect the AgNP traits and activity, such as culture medium composition, pH, and temperature, among others. In this work, we evaluated the effect of the culture medium physicochemical traits on both the stability and antibacterial activity of AgNPs. We found that culture media impact the physicochemical traits of AgNPs, such as hydrodynamic size, surface charge, aggregation, and the availability of ionic silver release rate. As a consequence, culture media play a major role in AgNP stability and antimicrobial potency. The AgNP minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) values changed up to 2 orders of magnitude by the influence of culture media alone when single-stock AgNPs were tested on the same strain of Escherichia coli. Furthermore, a meta-analysis of the AgNP MIC values confirms that the “chemical complexity” of culture media influences the AgNP activity. Studies that address only the antimicrobial activities of nanoparticles on common bacterial models should be performed by standardized susceptibility assays, thus generating replicable, comparable reports regarding the antimicrobial potency of nanomaterials.