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Polyethylene Oxide Coatings Towards the Prevention of Biofilm Development

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Poster

Publication date2022
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventInternational Conference for Plasma Medicine - The Netherlands, Utrecht
Duration: 27/06/20221/07/2022
Conference number: 9


ConferenceInternational Conference for Plasma Medicine
Abbreviated titleICPM9


Biofilms are bacterial communities matured on any surface surrounded by a complex and nutrient rich extracellular matrix (ECM). These microenvironments can cause intractable contamination across multiple environments, a significant problem for the healthcare sector. Preventing chronic infection in the wound bed is desirable as treatment becomes increasingly challenging, with many bacteria now showing antimicrobial resistance (AMR). By 2050 the worldwide death toll resulting from AMR complications is expected to exceed 10 million pa. [1] AMR progression is proliferated by the close proximity of bacteria within a biofilm. Despite efforts to develop new treatments, due to the adaptable nature of bacteria, prevention is the best option to combat biofilm infection mortality.

Plasma polymerisation can be used to produce anti-biofouling wound coatings for biofilm prevention.[2] In this research, working with novel high pressure & low power plasma parameters (the so-called ϒ regime) – which favours functional group retention - we aim to maximise the polyethylene oxide (PEO) content on a given surface to reduce protein adsorption. [3] In turn, theoretically preventing
the formation of biofilm on the same surface. Work to date has focused on testing protein adsorption on various plasma coated surfaces, applying albumin and fibrinogen individually and in combination. Ion-milling X-ray Photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) has been utilised in a novel method to measure protein adsorption on and into coatings, providing unique insight into how a protein attaches to a “non-fouling” surface.

Work has recently focused on the application of 12-crown-4 which readily polymerises to produce a uniform plasma polymer surface on silicon wafer. To date, coatings from the ϒ regime show low
protein adsorption, approaching that seen in an industry standard.

Future work will progress to the direct application of biofilm samples to determine the realistic viability of PEO coatings for non-fouling wound dressings.