Investigating the Properties and Characterization of a Hybrid 3D Printed Antimicrobial Composite Material Using FFF Process: Innovative and Swift

Waleed Ahmed, Ali H. Al-Marzouqi, Muhammad Hamza Nazir, Tahir A. Rizvi, Essam Zaneldin, Mushtaq Khan, Muthanna Aziz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Novel strategies and materials have gained the attention of researchers due to the current pandemic, the global market high competition, and the resistance of pathogens against conventional materials. There is a dire need to develop cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and biodegradable materials to fight against bacteria using novel approaches and composites. Fused filament fabrication (FFF), also known as fused deposition modeling (FDM), is the most effective and novel fabrication method to develop these composites due to its various advantages. Compared to metallic particles alone, composites of different metallic particles have shown excellent antimicrobial properties against common Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. This study investigates the antimicrobial properties of two sets of hybrid composite materials, i.e., Cu-PLA-SS and Cu-PLA-Al, are made using copper-enriched polylactide composite, one-time printed side by-side with stainless steel/PLA composite, and second-time with aluminum/PLA composite respectively. These materials have 90 wt.% of copper, 85 wt.% of SS 17-4, 65 wt.% of Al with a density of 4.7 g/cc, 3.0 g/cc, and 1.54 g/cc, respectively, and were fabricated side by side using the fused filament fabrication (FFF) printing technique. The prepared materials were tested against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa), Salmonella Poona (S. Poona), and Enterococci during different time intervals (5 min, 10 min, 20 min, 1 h, 8 h, and 24 h). The results revealed that both samples showed excellent antimicrobial efficiency, and 99% reduction was observed after 10 min. Hence, three-dimensional (3D) printed polymeric composites enriched with metallic particles can be utilized for biomedical, food packaging, and tissue engineering applications. These composite materials can also provide sustainable solutions in public places and hospitals where the chances of touching surfaces are higher.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8895
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • 3D printing
  • biodegradable
  • hybrid composites
  • long-term antimicrobial efficiency
  • polylactide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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