Mussels have been shown to attach to virtually all types of inorganic and organic surfaces via their adhesive proteins. The adhesive proteins secreted by mussels contain high concentrations of catechol and amine functional groups, which have similar functional groups with polydopamine (PDA). Inspired by mussels, a mild and environmentally friendly method was used to synthesize Ag nanoparticles (Ag NPs) on functionalized PDA-graphene nanosheets (PDA-GNS) with uniform and high dispersion. First, a uniform layer of PDA was coated on graphene oxide (GO) by polymerizing dopamine (DA) at room temperature. During the process GO was reduced by the DA. The PDA layer on the surface of GNS can be used as a nanoscale guide to form uniform Ag NPs on the surface of PDA-GNS. The obtained Ag-PDA-GNS hybrid materials are characterized by atomic force microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, UV–vis spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and thermal gravimetric analysis. The resultant Ag-PDA-GNS hybrid materials exhibited strong antibacterial properties to both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria due to the synergistic effect of GNS and Ag NPs.
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