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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(4), 1001; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20041001

Synthesis, Characterization, and Bacterial Fouling-Resistance Properties of Polyethylene Glycol-Grafted Polyurethane Elastomers

Department of Chemistry, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Rome, Italy
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Received: 25 January 2019 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Systems as Antimicrobial or Antifouling Agents)
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Abstract

Despite advances in material sciences and clinical procedures for surgical hygiene, medical device implantation still exposes patients to the risk of developing local or systemic infections. The development of efficacious antimicrobial/antifouling materials may help with addressing such an issue. In this framework, polyethylene glycol (PEG)-grafted segmented polyurethanes were synthesized, physico-chemically characterized, and evaluated with respect to their bacterial fouling-resistance properties. PEG grafting significantly altered the polymer bulk and surface properties. Specifically, the PEG-grafted polyurethanes possessed a more pronounced hard/soft phase segregated microstructure, which contributed to improving the mechanical resistance of the polymers. The better flexibility of the soft phase in the PEG-functionalized polyurethanes compared to the pristine polyurethane (PU) was presumably also responsible for the higher ability of the polymer to uptake water. Additionally, dynamic contact angle measurements evidenced phenomena of surface reorganization of the PEG-functionalized polyurethanes, presumably involving the exposition of the polar PEG chains towards water. As a consequence, Staphylococcus epidermidis initial adhesion onto the surface of the PEG-functionalized PU was essentially inhibited. That was not true for the pristine PU. Biofilm formation was also strongly reduced. View Full-Text
Keywords: segmented polyurethanes; polyethylene glycol; microbial biofilm; antifouling materials; medical device-related infections; wound dressings segmented polyurethanes; polyethylene glycol; microbial biofilm; antifouling materials; medical device-related infections; wound dressings
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Francolini, I.; Silvestro, I.; Di Lisio, V.; Martinelli, A.; Piozzi, A. Synthesis, Characterization, and Bacterial Fouling-Resistance Properties of Polyethylene Glycol-Grafted Polyurethane Elastomers. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 1001.

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