Films with well-controlled porous structures provide many exciting application opportunities in chemistry and biology. Here we report the synthesis of a highly uniform, hierarchically nanoporous silica film structure, and its application in drug loading and release for antibacterial surface coating. Templated by both sub-micron poly-styrene (PS) particles and a triblock copolymer (F127), this hierarchically nanoporous film has two distinct pore sizes of 200 nm and 7 nm. The 7-nm mesopores provide high surface area and thus high adsorption capacity for drug molecules, and the 200-nm macropores facilitate the adsorption rate of drug molecules, especially for molecules with comparable sizes to mesopores. Fluorescence measurement of rhodamine release demonstrates that this hierarchically porous film has a higher adsorption capacity, efficiency and much longer molecule releasing time window than both the inverse opal film and the mesoporous film. When loaded with Ampicillin, this hierarchically porous film shows over 8 times longer of inhibition of E. coligrowth than both the inverse opal film and the mesoporous film. This simple and versatile process allows for fabrication of a variety of surface-coated, hierarchically nanoporous films with different chemical compositions and applications.
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