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Acta Biomaterialia
Vol. 8, No: 5, 2012, Pages: 1881 - 90

Superhydrophobic, nanotextured polyvinyl chloride films for delaying Pseudomonas aeruginosa attachment to intubation tubes and medical plastics

Loo CY, Young PM, Lee WH, Cavaliere R, Whitchurch CB, Rohanizadeh R

Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.


Bacterial attachment onto the surface of polymers in medical devices such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is influenced by the physicochemical properties of the polymer, including its surface hydrophobicity and roughness. In this study, to prevent biofilm formation onto PVC devices, the PVC surface was modified using a combination of solvent (tetrahydrofuran) and non-solvents (i.e. ethanol and methanol). The surface of unmodified PVC was smooth and relatively hydrophobic (water contact angle (CA)=80°). Ethanol-treated PVCs revealed the presence of micron-sized particulates and porous structures as the concentration of ethanol was increased. Surface hydrophobicity (measured in terms of CA) increased from 73° to 150° as the ethanol concentration increased from 15% to 35% (v/v). In general, methanol-treated PVCs were more hydrophilic compared to those treated with ethanol. The colonization of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 onto unmodified PVC surface was rapid, and individual bacterial cells could be seen after 6h incubation. On the surface of treated PVC, the secretion of extracellular matrix layers was evident at 18 h and P. aeruginosa PAO1 start to form microcolonies at 24h of incubation. The initial attachment of P. aeruginosa PAO1 was delayed to 18 and 24h, respectively in the PVCs treated with 25% (v/v) and 35% (v/v) ethanol. It can be concluded that the treatment used in this study to prepare superhydrophobic PVC surface prevented the colonization of bacteria up to 24h after culture.

Keywords:polyvinyl chloride,tetrahydrofuran,colonization of bacteria up to 24h after culture.


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