Nowadays, biocompatible polymers represent important materials in health-care industry. Their long-term applications, however, lead to the development of infection which must be often suppressed by antibiotic therapy. Resulting problem of resistance of pathogenic bacteria to conventional antibiotics can be effectively solved by antibacterial treatment of polymer-based medical devices. Nanostructured noble metals, such as Ag and Pd, could be advantageously used. We report on antibacterial activity of Ag and Pd nanostructures prepared by DC sputtering on polymeric foils (PI, PEN). Such metal nanolayers of variable thicknesses were transformed by low-temperature post-deposition annealing into discrete nanoislands homogeneously distributed over the underlying polymer. The possibility of managing nanostructure size via controlling the thickness of metal nanolayers prior to the annealing was shown. The surface of engineered metal/polymer composites was characterized and obtained results were discussed with regard to the structural changes induced by annealing process. Antibacterial properties of these composites were evaluated using Gram-positive Staphylococcus epidermidis and Gram-negative Escherichia coli as model bacterial strains. The way of nanoisland formation and subsequent antibacterial response of prepared metal/polymer composites significantly differs in case of Ag/PI and Pd/PEN, respectively.Keywords: Polymer, Silver, Palladium, Nanostructures, Antibacterial properties
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