microstructured surfaces; device associated infections; antibiotics release; antibacterial activity; polymer compartments; amphiphilic copolymers
Belluati Andrea, Craciun Ioana, Meyer Claire E, Rigo Serena, Palivan Cornelia G (2019), Enzymatic reactions in polymeric compartments: nanotechnology meets nature, in Current Opinion in Biotechnology
, 60, 53-62.
Rigo Serena, Gunkel-Grabole Gesine, Meier Wolfgang, Palivan Cornelia G. (2019), Surfaces with Dual Functionality through Specific Coimmobilization of Self-Assembled Polymeric Nanostructures, in Langmuir
, 35(13), 4557-4565.
Draghici Camelia, Mikhalevich Viktoria, Gunkel-Grabole Gesine, Kowal Justyna, Meier Wolfgang, Palivan Cornelia G. (2018), Biomimetic Planar Polymer Membranes Decorated with Enzymes as Functional Surfaces, in Langmuir
, 34(30), 9015-9024.
Rigo Serena, Cai Chao, Gunkel-Grabole Gesine, Maurizi Lionel, Zhang Xiaoyan, Xu Jian, Palivan Cornelia G. (2018), Nanoscience-Based Strategies to Engineer Antimicrobial Surfaces, in Advanced Science
, 5(5), 1700892-1700892.
Lanzilotto Angelo, Kyropoulou Myrto, Constable Edwin C., Housecroft Catherine E., Meier Wolfgang P., Palivan Cornelia G. (2018), Porphyrin-polymer nanocompartments: singlet oxygen generation and antimicrobial activity, in JBIC Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry
, 23(1), 109-122.
Gunkel-GraboleGesine (2017), Nanostructured surfaces through immobilization of self-assembled polymer architectures using thiol-ene chemistry, in Macromol. Mater. Eng.
, 302(4), 1600363.
Housecroft Ca., Palivan C., Gademann K., Meier W., Calame M., Zhang X., Mikhalevich V., Piel E., Szponarski M., Wiesler A., Lanzilotto A., Constable E.C., Fanget A., Stoop R.L. (2016), "Active surfaces" as Possible Functional Systems in Detection and Chemical (Bio) Reactivity, in Chimia
, 6, 402-413.
Palivan C., Goers R., Najer A., Zhang X., Meier W. (2016), Bioinspired polymer vesicles and membranes for biological and medical applications, in Chem. Soc. Rev
, 45, 377-411.
Device associated infections (DAI), together with incompatibility reactions and surgical deficiencies are the main reasons for failure of modern medical devices in practice, often with severe consequences including high distress for the patients and huge socio-economical costs. We identified device applications in a variety of medical domains, such as cardiovascular, orthopedics, trauma, urinary incontinence, and ophthalmology in which DAI rates range from 2 to 40%. The costs for revision of infected devices are dramatically increasing the original implantation costs. Despite a substantial increase in recent research efforts on antibacterial strategies, there is currently no effective clinical solution. The few antimicrobial active compound containing devices rely on delivery of massive amounts of antibiotics, or on the release of silver which is limited to topical applications. The primary goal our joint collaboration intends to overcome is the complexity of research projects in this field requires a highly complementary team containing expertise across chemistry, physics, nanoscience, and biology. Combining expertise across chemistry, physics, nanoscience, and biology will allow our joint collaboration to overcome the complexity of research projects required in this field.The main objective of this project is to engineer “self-defending” polymer surfaces with a dual functionality based on: 1.) stealth polymer membranes with appropriate topology (passive strategy) and 2) association with immobilized nanoreactors releasing antibiotics “on demand” (active strategy). In such a diverse field, success largely depends on an interdisciplinary approach combining different expertise and knowledge. Therefore, we propose combining the highly complementary research field and infrastructure of the two proposing parties: the Swiss research unit at the University of Basel (Wolfgang Meier and Cornelia G. Palivan groups), in the field of polymer synthesis and development of nanoscale hybrid systems, together with the surface architecture control expertise of our Chinese partner at the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Jian Xu group).We plan a bottom-up approach to support the synthesis and investigation of various amphiphilic copolymers for the development of controlled bio-responsive surfaces serving to efficiently fight against DAI. First, we will synthesize a library of novel amphiphilic triblock copolymers with stimuli-responsive properties by varying the length of each block, the hydrophilic to hydrophobic ratio, and by modification of the hydrophilic domain with functional groups to support immobilization of their supramolecular assemblies on polymer surfaces with a specific morphology. Copolymers and their superstructures, both in solution and at interfaces, will be characterized by a variety of bulk and surface state of the art techniques. The focus will be on aqueous self-assembly, “grafting-to” approaches, as cost-effective ways to exploit biomimetic and strong multivalent adhesion. First, surface properties after coating with polymer membrane will be controlled by the surface chemical composition, and by an artificially generated biomimetic microstructure inducing a modification of interface interactions. Second, polymer compartments containing antibiotics will be immobilized on polymer coated surfaces by strong covalent interactions of molecular recognition interactions. Finally, antibacterial assays will distinguish the simultaneous impact of surface morphology, architecture, and release of antibiotics on the bio-responsive properties. An expected benefit of the joint research project will be improving protection against DAI by biomaterials/surfaces with dual functionality and improved long-term stability. In addition, the establishment of comprehensive sets of standard test methods with appropriate reference materials will allow for comparison of outcomes and optimization of the antibacterial activity of our “self-defending” surfaces. The proposed research project constitutes a partnership between the Department of Chemistry, University of Basel, and the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences that is expected to generate a long term collaboration based on the combination of our complementary expertise with the joint aim to engineer improved materials to fight against DAI. Our project applicants will unify their efforts for an important experimental contribution to the field of multifunctional bio-responsive surfaces with applications in medical technology.