Biomaterials: Barnacles help battle biofilms

Journal name:
Nature
Volume:
475,
Page:
9
Date published:
DOI:
doi:10.1038/475009f
Published online

Highly read on pubs.acs.org in May

By exploiting barnacles' remarkable clinging ability, researchers have anchored antibacterial 'polymer brushes' to the surface of steel. This could prevent the formation of dangerous bacterial biofilms on the surfaces of medical devices.

En-Tang Kang at the National University of Singapore and his colleagues coated stainless steel with a thin layer of cement harvested from Amphibalanus amphitrite barnacles. They then used this cement to initiate the growth of polymer chains of 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate, which was coupled with chitosan, an antibacterial molecule. The treated steel lowered the adhesion of the bacterium Escherichia coli and cut survival to less than 20%. Normal steel did not affect bacterial viability.

Langmuir 27, 70657076 (2011)

Additional data