Intravenous literature: Hook, A.L., Chang, C-Y., Yang, J., Luckett, J., Cockayne, A., Atkinson, S., Mei, Y., Bayston, R., Irvine, D.J., Langer, R., Anderson, D.G., Williams, P., Davies M.C., and Alexander, M.R. (2012) Combinatorial discovery of polymers resistant to bacterial attachment. Nature Biotechnology. 12th Aug [epub ahead of print].
Bacterial attachment and subsequent biofilm formation pose key challenges to the optimal performance of medical devices. In this study, we determined the attachment of selected bacterial species to hundreds of polymeric materials in a high-throughput microarray format. Using this method, we identified a group of structurally related materials comprising ester and cyclic hydrocarbon moieties that substantially reduced the attachment of pathogenic bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli). Coating silicone with these ‘hit’ materials achieved up to a 30-fold (96.7%) reduction in the surface area covered by bacteria compared with a commercial silver hydrogel coating in vitro, and the same material coatings were effective at reducing bacterial attachment in vivo in a mouse implant infection model. These polymers represent a class of materials that reduce the attachment of bacteria that could not have been predicted to have this property from the current understanding of bacteria-surface interactions.