Polyelectrolyte Complex that Minimizes Bacterial Adhesion to Polyester

Bacterial adhesion is a major concern in the medical field, where bacterial fouling can lead to diminished device efficacy and failure. To combat this, polyelectrolyte complexes (PECs) can be used to modify surfaces to reduce bacterial attachment. In the present study, a water-based PEC of poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) [PDDA] and poly(acrylic acid) are deposited in a simple two-step process to the surface of polyester fabric. This process includes the deposition of a dissolved mixture of the two polyelectrolytes, followed by the formation of the ionic network through exposure to citric acid buffer. These coatings facilitate the removal of >95% of deposited Staphylococcus aureus after simple rinsing with deionized water. The high degree of surface ionization monitored by FTIR suggests that electrostatic repulsion is responsible for the observed antifouling activity. The morphology of these coatings which is monitored by scanning electron microscope (SEM) and atomic force microscope (AFM) is shown to depend on curing the curing conditions, which suggests that this simple process can be tailored to many applications.

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R. J. Smith, M. G. Moule, P. A. Leon, E. T. Iverson, T. J. Kolibaba, J. D. Cirillo, J. C. Grunlan, Macromol. Mater. Eng., 2021306, 12, 2100579.