3 years ago

Polymer-Based Surfaces Designed to Reduce Biofilm Formation: From Antimicrobial Polymers to Strategies for Long-Term Applications

Polymer-Based Surfaces Designed to Reduce Biofilm Formation: From Antimicrobial Polymers to Strategies for Long-Term Applications
Karen Lienkamp, Maria Vöhringer, Esther K. Riga, Vania Tanda Widyaya
Contact-active antimicrobial polymer surfaces bear cationic charges and kill or deactivate bacteria by interaction with the negatively charged parts of their cell envelope (lipopolysaccharides, peptidoglycan, and membrane lipids). The exact mechanism of this interaction is still under debate. While cationic antimicrobial polymer surfaces can be very useful for short-term applications, they lose their activity once they are contaminated by a sufficiently thick layer of adhering biomolecules or bacterial cell debris. This layer shields incoming bacteria from the antimicrobially active cationic surface moieties. Besides discussing antimicrobial surfaces, this feature article focuses on recent strategies that were developed to overcome the contamination problem. This includes bifunctional materials with simultaneously presented antimicrobial and protein-repellent moieties; polymer surfaces that can be switched from an antimicrobial, cell-attractive to a cell-repellent state; polymer surfaces that can be regenerated by enzyme action; degradable antimicrobial polymers; and antimicrobial polymer surfaces with removable top layers. Antimicrobial polymer surfaces are cationic and deactivate bacteria by interaction with their negatively charged cell envelope. This feature article discusses their mechanism of action, which is controversial, and strategies to prevent their contamination with biomolecules or bacterial cell debris.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/marc.201700216

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