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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(5), 9249-9266; doi:10.3390/ijms14059249
Article

Biodegradable Polycaprolactone-Titania Nanocomposites: Preparation, Characterization and Antimicrobial Properties

1,* , 1,†
,
1,†
,
2,* , 2,†
 and
2,†
1 Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología de Polímeros (ICTP-CSIC), C/Juan de la Cierva 3, 28006 Madrid, Spain 2 Instituto de Catálisis y Petroleoquímica, (ICP-CSIC), C/Marie Curie 2, 28049 Madrid, Spain These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 March 2013 / Revised: 11 April 2013 / Accepted: 16 April 2013 / Published: 29 April 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Polymers)
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Abstract

Nanocomposites obtained from the incorporation of synthesized TiO2 nanoparticles (≈10 nm average primary particle size) in different amounts, ranging from 0.5 to 5 wt.%, into a biodegradable polycaprolactone matrix are achieved via a straightforward and commercial melting processing. The resulting nanocomposites have been structurally and thermally characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), wide/small angle X-ray diffraction (WAXS/SAXS, respectively) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). TEM evaluation provides evidence of an excellent nanometric dispersion of the oxide component in the polymeric matrix, with aggregates having an average size well below 100 nm. Presence of these TiO2 nanoparticles induces a nucleant effect during polymer crystallization. Moreover, the antimicrobial activity of nanocomposites has been tested using both UV and visible light against Gram-negative Escherichia coli bacteria and Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus. The bactericidal behavior has been explained through the analysis of the material optical properties, with a key role played by the creation of new electronic states within the polymer-based nanocomposites.
Keywords: titania; polycaprolactone; nanocomposites; thermal properties; antimicrobial titania; polycaprolactone; nanocomposites; thermal properties; antimicrobial
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Muñoz-Bonilla, A.; Cerrada, M.L.; Fernández-García, M.; Kubacka, A.; Ferrer, M.; Fernández-García, M. Biodegradable Polycaprolactone-Titania Nanocomposites: Preparation, Characterization and Antimicrobial Properties. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 9249-9266.

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