Nanopatterned smart polymer surfaces for controlled attachment, killing, and release of bacteria.
Model surfaces with switchable functionality based on nanopatterned, thermoresponsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAAm) brushes were fabricated using interferometric lithography combined with surface-initiated polymerization. The temperature-triggered hydration and conformational changes of nanopatterned PNIPAAm brushes reversibly modulate the spatial concealment and exposure of molecules that are immobilized in the intervals between nanopatterned brushes. A biocidal quaternary ammonium salt (QAS) was used to demonstrate the utility of nanopatterned PNIPAAm brushes to control biointerfacial interactions with bacteria. QAS was integrated into polymer-free regions of the substrate between nanopatterned PNIPAAm brushes. The biocidal efficacy and release properties of these surfaces were tested against Escherichia coli K12. Above the lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of PNIPAAm, desolvated, collapsed polymer chains facilitate the attachment of bacteria and expose QAS moieties that kill attached bacteria. Upon a reduction of the temperature below the LCST, swollen PNIPAAm chains promote the release of dead bacteria. These results demonstrate that nanopatterned PNIPAAm/QAS hybrid surfaces are model systems that exhibit an ability to undergo noncovalent, dynamic, and reversible changes in structure that can be used to control the attachment, killing, and release of bacteria in response to changes in temperature.
Yu, Q; Cho, J; Shivapooja, P; Ista, LK; López, GP
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