Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology

, Volume 89, Issue 1, pp 310–321 | Cite as

Sol–gel synthesis of Mg(OH)2 and Ca(OH)2 nanoparticles: a comparative study of their antifungal activity in partially quaternized p(DMAEMA) nanocomposite films

  • A. Sierra-FernandezEmail author
  • S. C. De la Rosa-GarcíaEmail author
  • R. Yañez-Macías
  • C. Guerrero-SanchezEmail author
  • L. S. Gomez-Villalba
  • S. Gómez-Cornelio
  • M. E. Rabanal
  • U. S. Schubert
  • R. Fort
  • P. Quintana
Original Paper: Sol-gel and hybrid materials for energy, environment and building applications


The evaluation of the antifungal activity of Mg(OH)2 and Ca(OH)2 nanoparticles (NPs), synthesized by sol–gel method and their mixtures at different concentrations, is reported. The antifungal activity of the hydroxide NPs was studied using Aspergillus niger and Penicillium oxalicum isolated from stone surfaces. These model organisms were selected due to their ability to grow on outdoor and indoor climates and their significant impact on human health. Moreover, the antifungal activity of Mg(OH)2 and Ca(OH)2 NPs dispersed in positively charged polymeric matrices based on partially quaternized poly(2-(dimethylamino ethyl) methacrylate) (pDMAEMA) was studied. With respect to the morphology, particle size, and textural properties of the NPs, the mixtures of Mg–Ca hydroxides revealed a uniform and smaller particle size, along with a greater surface area, as compared to pristine Ca(OH)2 NPs. However, the Ca(OH)2 and a mixture of Mg(OH)2 and Ca(OH)2 (10:90 weight ratio) NPs, showed an enhanced growth inhibition of A. niger and P. oxalicum, suggesting that the effect of particle size on the antifungal activity would not be a preponderating factor. In addition, improved antifungal properties against A. niger and P. oxalicum were detected in composite coatings based on hydroxide NPs dispersed in quaternized p(DMAEMA-co-METAI). The use of these systems might provide promising composite materials with potential antifungal properties for various applications.


  • Pure Mg(OH)2, Ca(OH)2, and mixtures of both NPs were successfully synthesized by sol–gel method.

  • The mixtures based on Mg–Ca hydroxides showed a uniform and smaller particle size, along with a greater surface area.

  • The effect of particle size on the antifungal activity would not be a preponderating factor.

  • The Ca(OH)2 and Mg(OH)2:Ca(OH)2 (10:90 wt%) NPs had an enhanced antifungal efficiency.

  • The use of Mg(OH)2 and Ca(OH)2 NPs in p(DMAEMA-co-METAI) composites improved the antifungal efficacy of polymeric matrices.


Aspergillus niger Penicillium oxalicum Hydroxide nanoparticles Antifungal coatings Poly[(2-dimethylamino) ethyl methacrylate] 



This study was financially supported by the National Council for Science and Technology (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología [CONACYT, Mexico]) of the “Fronteras de la Ciencia No. 138” project and by the Community of Madrid under the “Climortec”, BIA2014−53911-R, “Geomaterials 2” Programme (S2013/MIT_2914), and Multimat Challenge (S2013/MIT-2862). A.S.-F. would like to gratefully acknowledge the financial support of Santander Universidades through “Becas Iberoamérica Jóvenes Profesores e Investigadores, España 2015” scholarship program. C.G.-S., R.Y.-M., and U.S.S. thank CONACYT and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD, Germany) for financial support within the framework of the funding program for international mobility PROALMEX 2015 (CONACyT project: 267752 and DAAD project: 57271725). C.G.-S. and U.S.S. also thank the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, Germany) for financial support for this research under the scheme of the grant SFB-1278 “PolyTarget” project B02. The authors also thank D. Aguilar, A. Cristobal, and D. Huerta for their valuable technical support. We also thank Adrián Gómez Guerrero of the National Center for Electron Microscopy (CNME, Madrid, Spain) for the assistance provided and for its support with TEM characterization.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Geociencias (CSICMadridSpain
  2. 2.Laboratorio de Microbiología Aplicada, División de Ciencias BiológicasUniversidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco (UJAT)TabascoMexico
  3. 3.Departamento de Materiales AvanzadosCentro de investigación en Química Aplicada. BlvdSaltilloMexico
  4. 4.Laboratory of Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry (IOMC)Friedrich Schiller University JenaJenaGermany
  5. 5.Jena Center for Soft Matter (JCSM)Friedrich Schiller University JenaJenaGermany
  6. 6.Universidad Politécnica del Centro. Km 22.5 Carretera Federal Villahermosa-Teapa, TumbulushalTabascoMexico
  7. 7.Departamento de Ciencia e Ingeniería de Materiales e Ingeniería QuímicaUniversidad Carlos III de Madrid e Instituto Tecnológico de Química y Materiales “Álvaro Alonso Barba” (IAAB)MadridSpain
  8. 8.CINVESTAV-IPN, Departamento de Física AplicadaUnidad MéridaYucatánMexico

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