, Volume 84, Issue 4, pp 741-749
Date: 02 Jun 2009

Lactic acid bacteria as reducing and capping agent for the fast and efficient production of silver nanoparticles

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There is a growing demand for silver-based biocides, including both ionic silver forms and metallic nanosilver. The use of metallic nanosilver, typically chemically produced, faces challenges including particle agglomeration, high costs, and upscaling difficulties . Additionally, there exists a need for the development of a more eco-friendly production of nanosilver. In this study, Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria were utilized in the non-enzymatic production of silver nanoparticles via the interaction of silver ions and organic compounds present on the bacterial cell. Only lactic acid bacteria, Lactobacillus spp., Pediococcus pentosaceus, Enterococcus faecium, and Lactococcus garvieae, were able to reduce silver. The nanoparticles of the five best producing Lactobacillus spp. were examined more into detail with transmission electron microscopy. Particle localization inside the cell, the mean particle size, and size distribution were species dependent, with Lactobacillus fermentum having the smallest mean particle size of 11.2 nm, the most narrow size distribution, and most nanoparticles associated with the outside of the cells. Furthermore, influence of pH on the reduction process was investigated. With increasing pH, silver recovery increased as well as the reduction rate as indicated by UV–VIS analyses. This study demonstrated that Lactobacillus spp. can be used for a rapid and efficient production of silver nanoparticles.