(516h) Award Submission: Carbon Nanotube Incorporated Polymer Films as Antimicrobial Biomaterials
Medical device infection is a significant health care problem, and materials able to suppress microbial activity represent an attractive solution. We investigate here the possibility of single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT), together with organic or aqueous polymers, as antimicrobial thin film materials. We consider composite films composed of SWNT and 1) the commonly used biomedical polymer poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid), formed by spin coating from organic solvent and 2) the charged polymers poly(styrene sulfonate) and poly(allylamine hydrochloride), formed by layer-by-layer assembly from aqueous solution. A suite of SWNT and film characterization techniques are employed, including optical waveguide lightmode spectroscopy (OWLS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The growth of E. coli and S. epidermidis bacteria on these materials is evaluated in terms of SWNT and film properties. We find films containing > 0.1% SWNT to be highly antimicrobial (inactivates ca. 98% of contacting bacteria), and thus to represent promising antimicrobial materials for biomedical applications.