Chitosan nanoparticles (CS) and chitosan/pepper tree (Schinus molle) essential oil (CS-EO) bionanocomposites were synthesized by nanoprecipitation method and the in vitro antifungal activity against Aspergillus parasiticus spores was evaluated. The shape and size were evaluated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS). The surface charge was determined by assessing the zeta potential and the inclusion of essential oil in bionanocomposites using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The effect on cell viability of the fungus was evaluated using the XTT technique and morphometric analysis by image processing. SEM and DLS analysis indicated that spherical particles with larger diameters for CS-EO biocomposites were observed. Zeta potential values were higher (+11.1 ± 1.60 mV) for CS nanoparticles. Results suggest a chemical interaction between chitosan and pepper tree essential oil. The highest concentration of CS-EO complex caused a larger (40-50%) decrease in A. parasiticus viability. The inclusion of pepper tree oil in CS nanoparticles is a feasible alternative to obtain antifungal biocomposites, where the activity that each compound presents individually is strengthened.
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Copyright © 2016 Ana Guadalupe Luque-Alcaraz et al.