Development of New Bacteria-Reducing Surfaces
Sammanfattning: In recent years, antibacterial surfaces have been a subject of increased interest. Especiallyinteresting are non-leaching, contact-active surfaces that physically disrupts the bacterialcell using immobilised cationic polymers. Thus the risks of bacterial resistance and discharge of hazardous biocides is minimised. The assembly of such surfaces is elaborate andusually involves organic solvents. Here, polyelectrolyte multilayers (PEM) are proposed as an effective surface modification method, with an overall goal of producing antibacterial cellulose fibres. The PEM process is based on physical adsorption of oppositely charged polymers in aqueous solutions. Multilayers were formed with the bactericidal polymer polyvinylamine (PVAm) and polyacrylic acid. PVAm compounds with hydrophobic modificationswere applied as well, as they possess increased antibacterial activity in solution.In this work, the multilayer formation was studied on model surfaces of silicone oxide and glass in order to obtain fundamental knowledge of the polymer system. QCM-D and reflectometry, which detect total mass including bound water and polymer mass only, respectively, were used to analyse the layer formation. Salt-concentrations were varied at 1, 10 or 100 mM NaCl. A stepwise multilayer formation with exponential-like polymer adsorption but with decreasing water content for each layer was seen at all salt concentrations.A higher salt concentration resulted in an increased adsorbed mass. No significant differences in adsorption between the modified and unmodified PVAm could be detected. AFM imaging applied to multilayers having nine layers showed large surface aggregates under high salt conditions for the C6-modified PVAm. Dynamic light scattering showed that the polymer occurred as single molecules in solution; hence it was concluded that theaggregation is surface-associated.The multilayers were then tested for bacterial growth inhibition. The relative bacterial inhibition was time-dependent, as the surface was saturated with bacteria over time. After two hours, a maximal inhibition of 99 % could be observed for the multilayers. After eight hours, a moderate inhibition of less than 40 % was detected. Using multilayers affected the results positively compared to single layers. After three layers, though, no further reductionwas seen. Viability staining of the surface-adhered bacteria revealed that the adhered bacteria had intact membranes. Therefore, the microbiological properties of the multilayers can at this point be described more as growth-inhibiting by bacterial adhesion effectsthan as biocidal. However, this work has shown the importance of combining surface characterisation and microbial testing to understand the bacteria-surface interaction.
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