Antibacterial surfaces on expanded polytetrafluoroethylene; penicillin attachment

Nattharika Aumsuwan
Sabine Heinhorst
Marek W. Urban, University of Southern Mississippi


Expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) was chemically modified to retard the growth of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. This was accomplished by microwave plasma reactions in the presence of maleic anhydride (MA) to create acid functional groups on ePTFE surfaces, followed by esterification reactions with 200 and 600 molecular weight linear polyethylene glycol (PEG). Such surfaces were utilized for further reactions with penicillin (PEN) through etherification reactions to create anti-microbial surfaces. These reactions resulted in surface morphological changes, and spectroscopic analysis using attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR FT-IR) revealed the formation of ester linkages resulting from reactions between PEN and PEG functionalities. Antibacterial activities were evaluated by a series of experiments where PEN-modified ePTFE specimens were immersed in a liquid aureus culture, and the bacteria growth was quantified by measuring % absorbance of the suspension at 600 nm wavelength. The lowest absorbance was observed for the solution containing PEN-PEG-MA-ePTFE specimens, thus showing highly effective anti-bacterial activity toward gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. To our best knowledge, this is the first study that shows PEN-ePTFE surface modifications that are effective against gram-positive aureus bacteria.