We developed an easy and reproducible synthetic method to graft a monolayer of copper sulfide nanoparticles (CuS NP) on glass and exploited their particular antibacterial features. Samples were fully characterized showing a good stability, a neat photo-thermal effect when irradiated in the Near InfraRed (NIR) region (in the so called “biological window”), and the ability to release controlled quantities of copper in water. The desired antibacterial activity is thus based on two different mechanisms: (i) slow and sustained copper release from CuS NP-glass samples, (ii) local temperature increase caused by a photo-thermal effect under NIR laser irradiation of CuS NP–glass samples. This behavior allows promising in vivo applications to be foreseen, ensuring a “static” antibacterial protection tailored to fight bacterial adhesion in the critical timescale of possible infection and biofilm formation. This can be reinforced, when needed, by a photo-thermal action switchable on demand by an NIR light.
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