Membranes with superhydrophobic and antibacterial performances

Researchers have presented micro/nano-structured electrospun membranes with superhydrophobic and photodynamic antibacterial performances.

Petri dishes with bacterial cultures.
The ZnO–rGO coatings exhibited high activity against the Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. Image source: branislavp (symbol image).

Bacterial infection has been a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, which gives rise to numerous disasters in humans. General superhydrophobic surface displays remarkable bacterial repellence, but generally lack essential antimicrobial activity, and is hard to get a totally bacteria-free surface. A new study reports a micro/nano-structured electrospun membrane with both superhydrophobic and photodynamic antibacterial performances.

Very low bacterial adhesion

Through a facile and convenient electrospinning method, a series of composite membranes consisting of poly(vinylidene) fluoride (PVDF) nano-sized fiber, micro-sized polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) particles and photosensitiser Chlorin e6 (Ce6) are prepared, which can be transformed into superhydrophobic membranes after a surface fluorination. The optimised superhydrophobic membrane demonstrates remarkable bacterial repellence with very low bacterial adhesion (~3.6% for S. aureus and ~4.3% for E. coil), and also possesses effective photodynamic antimicrobial activities, under vis-light illumination, even can get a totally bacterial-free surface against S. aureus.  Additionally, the membrane also showed no obvious hemolysis as well as low-level cytotoxicity.

According to the reseachers, their work may inspire the development of novel antibacterial membrane surfaces with both bacterial repellence and bactericidal performances for high-efficient and safe bacterial disinfection.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 164, March 2022.

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