Preparation of antimicrobial 3D printing filament: In situ thermal formation of silver nanoparticles during the material extrusion

Daria Podstawczyk, Dawid Skrzypczak, Xymena Połomska, Anna Stargała, Anna Witek-Krowiak, Anthony Guiseppi-Elie, Zbigniew Galewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Many efforts have been made either to provide the typical three-dimensional (3D) printing materials with new and specific properties or to enhance their overall stability. The use of nanomaterials in 3D printing is gaining attention due to the tremendous functionality that this approach provides for those materials. This article presents a method of producing poly(lactic acid) (PLA)-silver nanoparticle antibacterial filament for additive manufacturing. Polymer dope of silver salts within PLA was prepared by the solution-phase and solvent-less methods, followed by extrusion into filaments. Silver nanoparticles were synthesized in situ by thermal decomposition of silver salt during the thermal extrusion of the filament. The formation and dispersion of the nanoparticles within the polymer structure were examined and confirmed with transmission electron microscope and X-ray diffraction. The solution-phase method proposed in this study may prevent failure with nanoparticle dispersion occurring in melt blending. The filament was used for the fabrication of predesigned specimens for antimicrobial and mechanical testing. Printed objects exhibited antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This study revealed that the incorporation of silver nanoparticles (0.01-5 wt%) into PLA does not significantly change its bulk properties but renders the composite antibacterial. The filament may be used for manufacturing on-demand customized antimicrobial objects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4692-4705
Number of pages14
JournalPolymer Composites
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • extrusion
  • functional polymers
  • nanocomposites
  • nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Preparation of antimicrobial 3D printing filament: In situ thermal formation of silver nanoparticles during the material extrusion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this