Six-month study shows no biofilm formation on zwitterionic polyurethanes

Researchers have presented a noveal approach to prevent biofilms. The material demonstrates both critical anti-biofilm properties and tunable mechanical properties.

icroscope image of bacteria as a symbol.

Biofilms have been a long-standing challenge for healthcare, water transport, and many other industries. They lead to bacterial growth and infections in animals, food products, and humans. In a new study, a multifunctional carboxybetaine precursor was designed and introduced into polyurethane.

The carboxybetaine precursors undergo rapid, self-catalysed hydrolysis at the water/material interface and provide critical anti-fouling properties that lead to undetectable bacterial attachment and zero biofilm formation after six months of constant exposure to Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus epidermidis under the static condition in a nutrient-rich medium.

Anti-biofilm properties and tunable mechanical properties

According to the researchers, this zwitterionic polyurethane is the first material to demonstrate both critical anti-biofilm properties and tunable mechanical properties. This approach of designing ‘multitasking materials’ is supposed to be useful for the development of next generation anti-fouling materials for a variety of applications.

The study has been published in Chemical Science, Issue 18, 2020.

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