Polymeric composites with silver (I) cyanoximates inhibit biofilm formation of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria


Biofilms are surface-associated microbial communities known for their increased resistance to antimicrobials and host factors. This resistance introduces a critical clinical challenge, particularly in cases associated with implants increasing the predisposition for bacterial infections. Preventing such infections requires the development of novel antimicrobials or compounds that enhance bactericidal effect of currently available antibiotics. We have synthesized and characterized twelve novel silver(I) cyanoximates designated as Ag(ACO), Ag(BCO), Ag(CCO), Ag(ECO), Ag(PiCO), Ag(PICO) (yellow and red polymorphs), Ag(BIHCO), Ag(BIMCO), Ag(BOCO), Ag(BTCO), Ag(MCO) and Ag(PiPCO). The compounds exhibit a remarkable resistance to high intensity visible light, UV radiation and heat and have poor solubility in water. All these compounds can be well incorporated into the light-curable acrylate polymeric composites that are currently used as dental fillers or adhesives of indwelling medical devices. A range of dry weight % from 0.5 to 5.0 of the compounds was tested in this study. To study the potential of these compounds in preventing planktonic and biofilm growth of bacteria, we selected two human pathogens (Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus) and Gram-positive environmental isolate Bacillus aryabhattai. Both planktonic and biofilm growth was abolished completely in the presence of 0.5% to 5% of the compounds. The most efficient inhibition was shown by Ag(PiCO), Ag(BIHCO) and Ag(BTCO). The inhibition of biofilm growth by Ag(PiCO)-yellow was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Application of Ag(BTCO) and Ag(PiCO)-red in combination with tobramycin, the antibiotic commonly used to treat P. aeruginosa infections, showed a significant synergistic effect. Finally, the inhibitory effect lasted for at least 120 h in P. aeruginosa and 36 h in S. aureus and B. aryabhattai. Overall, several silver(I) cyanoximates complexes efficiently prevent biofilm development of both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria and present a particularly significant potential for applications against P. aeruginosa infections.



Document Type




Rights Information

© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


Antimicrobial, Biofilm, Cyanoximes, Density and porosity, Leaching studies, Mechanical strength, Polymeric composites, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Silver (I) coordination polymers, Staphylococcus aureus, Thermal stability

Publication Date


Journal Title