Date of Award
Master of Applied Science (MASc)
Michael A. Brook
Heather D. Sheardown
Bacterial biofilms are problematic in a variety of industries hence strategies for their mitigation have received significant attention. The approach described herein attempts to control bacterial adhesion using silicone-based polymers- (widely used due to their interesting properties)- via manipulation of their surface chemistry to eventually create anti-fouling surfaces. This involved study of the systematic variation of surface wettability and its effect on Escherichia coli (E. coli) adhesion to novel polymers of acrylate-modified silicone surfactant (ACR) with either hydroxyethyl methacrylate (a hydrophilic monomer), or methyl and butyl methacrylate (hydrophobic monomers). It was hypothesized that the systematic variation of ACR would produce surfaces with differing wettability, without changing other surface properties that influence cellular adhesion. Average light transmittance across the range of visible light wavelengths (400-740nm), surface roughness and Shore 00 hardness data were consistent across the ACR-HEMA copolymer series (80-90%, ~2.5 – 5 nm, and 75-95 Shore durometer points, respectively). The same consistency was observed for surface wettability (contact angles = 78-92°) despite varying HEMA content and consequently Escherichia coli (E.coli) adhesion, likely due to system saturation with silicon (as confirmed by EDX). However, wettability of the ACR-MMA-BMA polymers did vary; ≤ 20 wt% and ≥ 80 wt% ACR polymers had contact angles between 67°- 77°, while 20 < x < 80 wt% ACR polymers had increased surface wettability (contact angles 27.6°- 42.9°). E. coli adhesion across the set increased with increasing ACR content, a trend mirrored by the water uptake of the materials but not the contact angle data. These results indicate that E. coli adhesion occurs independently of wettability for these materials and although the effect of the latter on adhesion cannot be deduced, the possible correlation between bacterial adhesion and water uptake suggests that the best antifouling surfaces should not be of materials capable of imbibing significant amounts of water.
Khan, Madiha F., "NOVEL SILICONE-BASED MATERIALS TO LIMIT BACTERIAL ADHESION AND SUBSEQUENT PROLIFERATION" (2013). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 7594.
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