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Foot infections are difficult to eradicate, patients with diabetes mellitus among others are more susceptible to them, therefore preventive strategies and effective antimicrobial agents are needed. The antimicrobial properties of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are well known thus they are a trend for biomedical applications. The aim of this study was to investigate the antibacterial and antifungal activity of leather coated with AgNPs against two bacteria species Pseudomonas mendocina and Pseudomonas syringae, and the fungi Trichophyton mentagrophytes responsible for foot infections. Porcine leather was cut off and sprinkled with solutions containing various concentrations of metallic AgNPs. Inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) and texture analysis of the leather were performed to quantify the silver metallic concentration metallic silver and to test the effect of AgNPs on leather softness. Antimicrobial activity was measured by agar diffusion test for zone of inhibition (ZoI). The textural analysis of the coated leather showed that the application of AgNPs diminished its softness in a concentration dependency manner. The results from the antimicrobial activity revealed that leather coated with 0.05% of metallic AgNPs had the best antibacterial effect. A decrease in the growth of T. mentagrophytes was observed on the leather coated with 0.25% of metallic AgNPs; however, this concentration was not enough to abolish fungal growing. In conclusion, the application of AgNPs to porcine leather decreased its softness but added beneficial antibacterial properties to avoid bacterial foot infections. Leather coated with AgNPs could be used as a suitable material to prevent foot infections and it could provide added value for shoes manufacturing.
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