Nano-engineering safer-by-design nanoparticle based moth-eye mimetic bactericidal and cytocompatible polymer surfaces†
Nanotechnology provides a new design paradigm for alternative antibacterial strategies in the fight against drug-resistant bacteria. In this paper, the enhanced bactericidal action of moth-eye nanocomposite surfaces with a collaborative nanoparticle functional and topography structural mode of action is reported. The moth-eye nanocomposite surfaces are fabricated in combined processing steps of nanoparticle coating and surface nanoimprinting enabling the production of safer-by-design nanoparticle based antibacterial materials whereby the nanoparticle load is minimized whilst bactericidal efficiency is improved. The broad antibacterial activity of the nanocomposite moth-eye topographies is demonstrated against Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus and Gram-negative Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa as model bacteria. The antibacterial performance of the moth-eye nanocomposite topographies is notably improved over that of the neat moth-eye surfaces with bacteria inhibition efficiencies up to 90%. Concurrently, the moth-eye nanocomposite topographies show a non-cytotoxic behaviour allowing for the normal attachment and proliferation of human keratinocytes.