5 years ago

Bactericidal activity of self-assembled palmitic and stearic fatty acid crystals on highly ordered pyrolytic graphite

Bactericidal activity of self-assembled palmitic and stearic fatty acid crystals on highly ordered pyrolytic graphite
The wings of insects such as cicadas and dragonflies have been found to possess nanostructure arrays that are assembled from fatty acids. These arrays can physically interact with the bacterial cell membranes, leading to the death of the cell. Such mechanobactericidal surfaces are of significant interest, as they can kill bacteria without the need for antibacterial chemicals. Here, we report on the bactericidal effect of two of the main lipid components of the insect wing epicuticle, palmitic (C16) and stearic (C18) fatty acids. Films of these fatty acids were re-crystallised on the surface of highly ordered pyrolytic graphite. It appeared that the presence of two additional CH2 groups in the alkyl chain resulted in the formation of different surface structures. Scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy showed that the palmitic acid microcrystallites were more asymmetric than those of the stearic acid, where the palmitic acid microcrystallites were observed to be an angular abutment in the scanning electron micrographs. The principal differences between the two types of long-chain saturated fatty acid crystallites were the larger density of peaks in the upper contact plane of the palmitic acid crystallites, as well as their greater proportion of asymmetrical shapes, in comparison to that of the stearic acid film. These two parameters might contribute to higher bactericidal activity on surfaces derived from palmitic acid. Both the palmitic and stearic acid crystallite surfaces displayed activity against Gram-negative, rod-shaped Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Gram-positive, spherical Staphylococcus aureus cells. These microcrystallite interfaces might be a useful tool in the fabrication of effective bactericidal nanocoatings. Statement of Significance Nanostructured cicada and dragonfly wing surfaces have been discovered to be able physically kill bacterial cells. Here, we report on the successful fabrication of bactericidal three-dimensional structures of two main lipid components of the epicuticle of insect wings, palmitic (C16) and stearic (C18) acids. After crystallisation onto highly ordered pyrolytic graphite, both the palmitic and stearic acid films displayed bactericidal activity against both Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus cells. The simplicity of the production of these microcrystallite interfaces suggests that a fabrication technique, based on solution deposition, could be an effective technique for the application of bactericidal nanocoatings.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1742706117304348

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