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Sonosynthesis in situ of TiO2 nanoparticles on cellulose fibers and evaluation of their antibacterial properties.
The pathogenic microorganisms have developed the capacity to resist the action of antimicrobial agents, this in part due to the uncontrolled use of these substances. Paper made from fibers composed mostly of cellulose, can be a vehicle for the growth and transmission of microorganisms. It is then of interest to study the possibilities for achieving useful properties, such as antibacterial resistance, incorporating inorganic particles with known photocatalytic activity. In this work we used never-dried cellulose fibers loaded with nano TiO2 particles, synthesized by ultrasound from the hydrolysis of titanium tetraisopropoxide (TTIP). An advantage of paper made from never dried fibers is that it offers a good specific surface where active materials can be deposited. Paper samples have been prepared from TiO2-loaded fibers and their antibacterial properties were evaluated against Escherichia coli and Sthapylococcus aureus. The crystallinity and morphology of TiO2 particles were examined by means of XRD, SEM and DLS. Also, the influence of the TiO2 particles on the physical properties of paper were assessed. The presence of TiO2 in the anatase form was confirmed by means of XRD. The main physico-mechanical properties of paper loaded with TiO2 were not affected significantly, which means that the incorporation of inorganic particles did not affect the interfiber bonding. The synthesis of inorganic nanoparticles in situ offers a facile one-pot procedure for the incorporation of compounds of interest, in this case, taking advantage from the vast surface area exhibited by never-dried pulp fibers.