One-step surface modification strategy with composition-tunable microgels: From bactericidal surface to cell-friendly surface
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As modifiers for biomaterial surfaces, soft colloidal particles not only have good film-forming properties, but can also contribute to the function of the biomaterial via their chemical and biological properties. This general approach has proven effective for surface modification, but little is known about methods to control the properties of the colloidal particles to regulate film formation and biological function. In this work, we prepared poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) microgels (ZQP) containing both a zwitterionic component (Z) to provide anti-fouling functionality, and a quaternary ammonium salt (Q) to give bactericidal functionality. Fine-tuning of the Z and Q contents allowed the preparation of microgels over a range of particle size, size distribution, charge, and film-forming capability. The films showed anti-adhesion and contact-killing properties versus Escherichia coli (E. Coli), depending on the chemical composition. They also showed excellent cytocompatibility relative to L929 cells. A variety of microgel-coated substrates (silicon wafer, PDMS, PU, PVC) showed long-term anti-bacterial activity and resistance to chemical and mechanical treatments. It is concluded that this approach allows the preparation of effective bactericidal, cytocompatible surfaces. The properties can be fine-tuned by regulation of the microgel composition, and the method is applicable universally, i.e., independent of substrate.
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