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NANOTECHNOLOGY IN THE FOOD CHAIN - Favv

NANOTECHNOLOGY IN THE FOOD CHAIN - Favv

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Immobilization of biogenic silver nanoparticles in membranes for safe disinfection of contaminated water Bart De Gusseme, Liesje Sintubin, Tom Hennebel, Nico Boon & Willy Verstraete Laboratory of Microbial Ecology and Technology (LabMET), Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, B-9000 Gent, Belgium E-mail: Bart.DeGusseme@UGent.be Water reuse is becoming essential in increasing the reliability of the water supply. Yet, there is a growing concern about the outbreak of waterborne diseases related to poor treatment of wastewater, meant for reuse or reclamation. Moreover, contamination of drinking water and the subsequent outbreak of waterborne diseases are the leading cause of death in many developing nations. Therefore, the development of innovative drinking water quality control strategies is of the utmost importance in this decade. Significant interest has arisen in the use of silver nanoparticles for disinfection of water. However, the loss of nanoparticles in the food chain should be avoided because of their potential impacts on human health. In this study, Ag 0 nanoparticles were produced on the bacterial cell surface of Lactobacillus fermentum. This unique combination of a microscale bacterium with Ag 0 particles of 11.2 ± 0.9 nm is referred to as biogenic silver or bio-Ag 0 (Sintubin et al., 2009). The bacterial carrier matrix hereby served as scaffold to prevent the particles from aggregation (Hennebel et al., 2009). Consequently, the inhibitory concentrations of bio-Ag 0 were lower than for chemically produced silver nanomaterials. Application of 12.5 mg bio-Ag 0 L -1 was sufficient to inhibit the growth of Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Sintubin et al., 2010) and 5.4 mg bio-Ag 0 L -1 caused a 4 log reduction of murine noroviruses in one hour (De Gusseme et al., 2010). It was demonstrated that the slow release of silver ions (Ag + ) is the main mode of action of biogenic silver. We have immobilized bio-Ag 0 in microporous polymeric membranes in order to prevent their loss in the water. Inactivation of UZ1 bacteriophages using these membranes was successfully demonstrated and was related to the slow release of Ag + from the membranes. At least a 3.4 log decrease of viruses was achieved 113

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