Multifunctional antimicrobial surface coatings

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Salwiczek, M; Qu, Y; Aschenbrenner, J; Gardiner, J ORCID ID icon; Pasic, P; White, J ORCID ID icon; McLean, K M; Lithgow, T; Thissen, H ORCID ID icon


Conference Material

22nd Annual ASBTE Conference, Barossa Valley, SA. Australia, 2nd - 5th April, 2013

Conference paper

1 p

Infections arising from bacterial colonisation and biofilm formation on medical implants such as venous and urinary catheters, heart valves and stents represent a major cause of post-operative complications. These infections, which cannot be treated easily and frequently claim the life of the patients affected, are often caused by bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and other bacterial species that are emerging as the source of hospital-acquired infections such as Klebsiella pneumoniae. Following the initial stage of attachment and colonisation, bacteria induce gene expression programs that drive them to form an adherent biofilm on the surface of the implant, which provides a protective environment against immune surveillance as well as a permeability barrier to antibiotics. In this context, different strategies have been developed with the aim to prevent the early stages of bacterial attachment and colonisation on the surface of biomedical devices. Apart from oral or intravenous administration of antibiotics at the time of implantation, options include the release of antimicrobial agents from the device, the display of immobilised antimicrobial signals on its surface and the prevention of bacterial attachment. However, many of the strategies used have suffered from issues such as insufficient specificity of antimicrobial agents, the development of resistance and limited long-term effectiveness. In this study we have developed multifunctional coatings which provide several lines of defence against bacterial attachment and colonisation based on ultra-low fouling background coatings prepared by surface initiated controlled free radical polymerisation combined with the display of antimicrobial agents. The fact that monomers were used to provide both the low fouling and the antimicrobial functional elements of the coating not only simplified the manufacture of coatings in comparison to previously described strategies, but also enabled superior control over the density of surface immobilised agents. Monomers used in this study included acrylamide, N-(2-hydroxypropyl) methacrylamide, poly(ethylene glycol) methacrylate and [3-(methacryloylamino)propyl] dimethyl(3-sulfopropyl)ammonium hydroxide as low fouling components as well as highly active polymerisable peptides with broad spectrum anti-microbial and anti-fungal activity such as the in-house synthesised, N-terminally acrylamide-modified Pexiganan. Surface characterisation methods used included X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and contact angle measurements. A microwave-assisted automated peptide synthesiser was used for the synthesis of peptide-based antimicrobial agents. Qualitative and quantitative biofilm assays were carried out to evaluate the bacterial response using Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Klebsiella pneumoniae. The cellular response to antimicrobial surfaces was also evaluated using L929 mouse fibroblasts. Our study confirms that the attachment and biofilm formation of clinically relevant bacteria can be effectively reduced using several lines of defence offered by advanced antimicrobial coatings.


Barossa Valley, SA. Australia.

Chemical Sciences not elsewhere classified

EP129786.pdf (pdf) (100KB)

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©2013 ASBTE


Conference Abstract


Salwiczek, M; Qu, Y; Aschenbrenner, J; Gardiner, J; Pasic, P; White, J; McLean, K M; Lithgow, T; Thissen, H. Multifunctional antimicrobial surface coatings. In: 22nd Annual ASBTE Conference; 2nd - 5th April, 2013; Barossa Valley, SA. Australia. Barossa Valley, SA. Australia.: ASBTE; 2013. 1 p.

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