Antimicrobial coatings have been widely investigated due to their potential to mitigate the spread of pathogens by killing or inhibiting the growth of microorganisms. However, owing to their uncontrollable burst release profile their action may cause systemic toxicity in human cells and the environment. These limitations hinder their widespread application and emphasize the need for engineering strategies to develop novel antimicrobial systems that incorporate controllable delivery systems. To address this concern, this study focuses on developing a comprehensive system design of a multifunctional antimicrobial platform based on silver nanowire (AgNW) networks. The platform incorporates a controllable biocidal mechanism activated via electrical current-induced Joule heating. The incorporation of AgNWs, such as stimuli-responsive material, enables their fabrication on flexible substrates using roll-to-roll deposition technology, as well as other low-cost and high-throughput processing methods. A first demonstration of the concept will be presented where a stable AgNW network is used as a transparent heater, and a sacrificial AgNW network serves as Ag atom reservoir for the on-demand antimicrobial activity.
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