(532d) Engineering Surfaces with Tunable Nanostructure and Stiffness to Combat Bacterial Adhesion
AIChE Annual Meeting
Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 8:45am to 9:00am
Bacterial adhesion on functional material surfaces leads to functionality loss of the materials and serious infectious diseases. To mitigate microbial adhesion, antifouling agents and antibiotics have been applied using numerous chemical coating approaches. However, the fast evolution of pathogenic bacteria with increasing drug resistance is a growing problem, affecting 2 million people in the U.S. each year, which significantly increases the need to develop a new approach to combat bacterial adhesion and growth. Our lab aims to develop an effective physical method to solve this problem by engineering surfaces to display high-aspect-ratio bactericidal protrusive nanopillars and tunable mechanical stiffness using soft materials. We recently demonstrated that the density of nanopillars plays an important role in determining bactericidal efficiency against a Gram-negative bacterium, Escherichia coli (E. Coli). We created the optimized nanostructure to effectively kill bacterial adhered on polymer surfaces by using soft mold transfer methods and investigated the effect of elastic modulus of the nanopillars on antibacterial efficacy. This work provides a fundamental insight into the surface design of functional polymeric materials to reduce the risks from bacterial infection without the use of antimicrobial agents.