The incorporation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) into polymeric nanofibers has attracted a great deal of attention due to the strong antimicrobial activity that the resulting fibers exhibit. However, bactericidal efficacy of AgNP-coated electrospun fibrous mats has not yet been demonstrated. In this study, polysulfone (PSf) fibers were electrospun and surface-modified using an oxygen plasma treatment, which allowed for facile irreversible deposition of cationically charged polyethyleneimine (PEI)-AgNPs via electrostatic interactions. The PSf-AgNP mats were characterized for relative silver concentration as a function of plasma treatment time using ICP-MS and changes in contact angle. Plasma treatment of 60 s was the shortest time required for maximum loss of bacteria (Escherichia coli) viability. Time-dependent bacterial cytotoxicity studies indicate that the optimized PSf-AgNP mats exhibit a high level of inactivation against both Gram negative bacteria, Escherichia coli, and Gram positive bacteria, Bacillus anthracis and Staphylococcus aureus. © 2011 American Chemical Society.