Network polymers incorporating lipid-bilayer disrupting polymers: towards antiviral functionality

Abstract

Designing a surface that can disinfect itself can reduce labor-intensive cleanings and harmful waste, and mitigate spread of surface borne diseases. Additionally, since COVID-19 is an airborne pathogen, surface modification of masks and filters could assist with infection control. Styrene-maleic acid (SMA) copolymers and their derivatives were shown to have lipid-bilayer disrupting properties, making them candidates as anti-viral materials. A series of network polymers with styrene-maleic acid-based polymers and control over polymer chain-length and composition were synthesized. All the polymers formed mechanically robust structures, with tunable Young's moduli on the order of MPa, and tunable swelling capability in water. The SMA-based bulk materials, containing a zwitterionic polar unit, showed excellent lipid disrupting properties, being up to 2 times more efficient than a 10% Triton solution. The highest performance was observed for materials with lower crosslink densities or shorter chain-lengths, with lipid disruption capability correlating with swelling ratio. Additionally, the material can capture the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, with up to 90% efficiency. Both the lipid disrupting and spike protein capture ability could be repeated for multiple cycles. Finally, the materials are shown to modify various porous and non-porous substrates including surgical and KN95 masks. Functional network modified masks had up to 6 times higher bilayer disruption ability than the unmodified masks without inhibiting airflow.

Graphical abstract: Network polymers incorporating lipid-bilayer disrupting polymers: towards antiviral functionality

Supplementary files

Article information

Article type
Paper
Submitted
09 May 2022
Accepted
11 Jul 2022
First published
12 Jul 2022

Polym. Chem., 2022, Advance Article

Network polymers incorporating lipid-bilayer disrupting polymers: towards antiviral functionality

K. M. Burridge, M. S. Rahman, N. De Alwis Watuthanthrige, E. Gordon, M. Z. Shah, B. M. Chandrarathne, G. A. Lorigan, R. C. Page and D. Konkolewicz, Polym. Chem., 2022, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D2PY00602B

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