AbstractDue to its antimicrobial properties, silver has been used in many areas of medicine and today silver nanoparticles have been incorporated into different biomaterials. The objective of this study was to implement a simple method for the incorporation of silver nanoparticles in polymethyl methacrylate substrates, to determine their mechanical properties, antimicrobial functionality and the solubility of silver incorporated. Using this approach an antimicrobial material can be obtained; the surface of a commercial polymethyl methacrylate (Opti-cryl®) was impregnated with silver nanoparticles (AgNps) using a spray deposition method (0.03% by weight). The antimicrobial activity of the material was evaluated using the Japanese industrial standard (JIS Z 2801) against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Inductively coupled plasma optical spectrometry (ICP-OES) was used to measure the solubility of the incorporated silver nanoparticles. Mechanical tests of flexural strength were performed to observe changes in mechanical properties. The antimicrobial results show that PMMA / AgNps has significant antimicrobial activity, showing better results for Escherichia coli. ICP-OES analysis suggests low solubility in silver nanoparticles. Mechanical tests showed a 1.6% increase in flexural strength for PMMA added with silver nanoparticles. The method presented for incorporating silver nanoparticles into PMMA and producing an acrylic antimicrobial substrate is easy and has the advantage of improving its mechanical properties.
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