In recent days, advancements in nanotechnology ensure everyday applications of nanostructured noble metals, especially silver. Particularly in the medicinal applications, where they profit from their unique antibacterial effects, a serious risk of cytotoxic side-effects may occur. In this work, we studied biological (antibacterial and cytotoxic) response of commonly used silver nanostructures (nanowires, NWs), and compared them with Pd ones, as their possibly safer alternative. Both metal nanostructures were supported on biocompatible polymer - polyethylene naphthalate. The surface of metal/polymer composites was thoroughly characterized by XPS, FIB-SEM and AFM. Thereafter, biological testing of the samples was accomplished. Antibacterial properties of both, Ag and Pd NWs were examined and mutually compared by using Gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli and Gram-positive Staphylococcus epidermidis, which commonly cause hospital-acquired infections. Finally, the comparative cytotoxic study of both types of composites was carried out using mouse embryonic fibroblasts. Such approach was chosen to determine, whether Pd nanostructures might compete with Ag ones in their medical applications.Keywords: Silver, Palladium, Nanowires, Medical applications, Antibacterial effects, Cytotoxicity
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