Researchers from China designed and synthesized a series of mixed polymer brushes grafted from silica surface as a new type of antibiofouling and antimicrobial coating, which combine poly(N-hydroxyethyl acrylamide) (polyHEAA) synthesized by atom transfer radical polymerization (SI-ATRP) and cationic poly(trimethylamino) ethyl methacrylate chloride, polyMETAC) synthesized by photoiniferter-mediated polymerization (SI-PIMP). By tuning ATRP and PIMP initiator ratios, the surface composition, charge and morphology of the resultant mixed polymer brushes were carefully optimized. PolyMETAC chains possess the strong ability to kill bacteria while high antifouling property was obtained from polyHEAA chains. It was shown that at the optimal conditions, the mixed polyHEAA/polyMETAC brushes exhibit excellent anti-bacterial adhesion property by retaining ultralow cell adhesion of ˜3.0 × 105 cells/cm2 and high contact killing efficiency by killing more than 90% attached bacteria of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus. Researchers concluded that surface grafting with polyHEAA and polyMETAC can be potentially useful for long-term biomedical and biomaterial applications.
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