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Fabrication of Bacteria- and Blood-Repellent Superhydrophobic Polyurethane Sponge Materials

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posted on 04.11.2020, 07:17 by Ekrem Ozkan, Arnab Mondal, Priyadarshini Singha, Megan Douglass, Sean P. Hopkins, Ryan Devine, Mark Garren, James Manuel, James Warnock, Hitesh Handa
Biofilm and thrombus formation on surfaces results in significant morbidity and mortality worldwide, which highlights the importance of the development of efficacious fouling-prevention approaches. In this work, novel highly robust and superhydrophobic coatings with outstanding multiliquid repellency, bactericidal performance, and extremely low bacterial and blood adhesion are fabricated by a simple two-step dip-coating method. The coatings are prepared combining 1H,1H,2H,2H-perfluorooctyltriethoxysilane (FAS-17)-coated hydrophobic zinc oxide and copper nanoparticles to construct hierarchical micro/nanostructures on commercial polyurethane (PU) sponges followed by polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) treatment that is used to improve the binding degree between the nanoparticles and the sponge surface. The micro/nanotextured samples can repel various liquids including water, milk, coffee, juice, and blood. Relative to the original PU, the superhydrophobic characteristics of the fabricated sponge cause a significant reduction in the adhesion of bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) by up to 99.9% over a 4-day period in a continuous drip-flow bioreactor. The sponge is also highly resistant to the adhesion of fibrinogen and activated platelets with ∼76 and 64% reduction, respectively, hence reducing the risk of blood coagulation and thrombus formation. More importantly, the sponge can sustain its superhydrophobicity even after being subjected to different types of harsh mechanical damage such as finger-wiping, knife-scratching, tape-peeling, hand-kneading, hand-rubbing, bending, compress–release (1000 cycles) tests, and 1000 cm sandpaper abrasion under 250 g of loading. Hence, this novel hybrid surface with robustness and the ability to resist blood adhesion and bacterial contamination makes it an attractive candidate for use in diverse application areas.