Novel high-performance antibacterial film

Researchers have preented an antibacterial film via synergistic effect between uniformly dispersed TiO2 nanoparticles and multifunctional quaternary ammonium cationic ligand.

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

Due to the extraordinary photocatalytic effect, TiO2 nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) have been widely applied in antibacterial fields. However, the agglomeration problem and dependence on light of TiO2 NPs seriously limit their antibacterial activity and practical applications.

A new study proposes a facile and effective strategy for the preparation of polyacrylate/TiO2 nanocomposite antibacterial films by emulsion polymerisation. A quaternary ammonium cationic ligand Vinylbenzyldimethyldodecylammonium chloride (VDAC) was successfully synthesised, which acted as a trinity of cationic ligand, organic antibacterial agent and polymerisable emulsifier to improve the dispersion of TiO2 NPs by electrostatic interaction and play the synergistic antibacterial effect with TiO2 NPs.

Stable antibacterial performance

The results demonstrated that TiO2 NPs were truly uniformly dispersed in the matrix and the particles sizes were reduced to around 5 nm. Moreover, the systematic investigations of antibacterial performance indicated that the prepared nanocomposite films displayed excellent antibacterial and antibiofouling abilities through the synergistic antibacterial effect of TiO2 NPs and VDAC.

The films could maintain close to 100 % antibacterial rate and completely inhibit bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation in 7 days, exhibiting long-term and stable antibacterial performance.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 157, August 2021.

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