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This paper reports the synthesis and characterization of silver oxide films for use as bactericidal coatings. Synthesis parameters, dissolution/elution rate, and bactericidal efficacy are reported. Synthesis conditions were developed to create AgO, Ag₂O, or mixtures of AgO and Ag₂O on surfaces by reactive magnetron sputtering. The coatings demonstrate strong adhesion to many substrate materials and impede the growth of all bacterial strains tested. The coatings are effective in killing Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, demonstrating a clear zone-of-inhibition against bacteria growing on solid media and the ability to rapidly inhibit bacterial growth in planktonic culture. Additionally, the coatings exhibit very high elution of silver ions under conditions that mimic dynamic fluid flow ranging between 0.003 and 0.07 ppm/min depending on the media conditions. The elution of silver ions from the AgO/Ag₂O surfaces was directly impacted by the complexity of the elution media, with a reduction in elution rate when examined in complex cell culture media. Both E. coli and S. aureus were shown to bind ~1 ppm Ag⁺/mL culture. The elution of Ag⁺ resulted in no increases in mammalian cell apoptosis after 24 h exposure compared to control, but apoptotic cells increased to ~35% by 48 and 72 h of exposure. Taken together, the AgO/Ag₂O coatings described are effective in eliciting antibacterial activity and have potential for application on a wide variety of surfaces and devices.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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