UV cross-linked polyvinylpyrrolidone electrospun fibres as antibacterial surfaces

Publish Year: 2019
Publisher:  Science and Technology of Advanced Materials, DOI: 10.1080/14686996.2019.1667737
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Many bacteria become progressively more resistant to antibiotics and it remains a challenging task to control their overall levels. Polymers combined with active biomolecules come to the forefront for the design of antibacterial materials that can address this encounter. In this work we investigated the photo-crosslinking approach of UV-sensitive benzophenone molecule (BP) with polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) polymer within electrospun fibres. The BP and PVP solutions allowed fabricating polymer mats that were subsequently functionalised with antibacterial lysozyme. The physical properties of the crosslinked electrospun fibres were investigated by scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. The average diameter of the obtained fibres decreased from 290 ± 50 nm to 270 ± 70 nm upon the addition of the crosslinking molecules and then to 240 ± 80 nm and 180 ± 90 nm after subsequent crosslinking reaction at an increasing time: 3 and 5 hours, respectively. The peak force quantitative nanomechanical mapping (PF-QNM) indicated the increase of DMT modulus of obtained cross-linked fibres from 4.1 ± 0.8 GPa to 7.2 ± 0.5 GPa. Furthermore, the successful crosslinking reaction of PVP and BP solution into hydrogels was investigated in terms of examining photo-crosslinking mechanism and was confirmed by rheology, Raman, Fourier transform infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance. Finally, lysozyme was successfully encapsulated within cross-linked PVP-BP hydrogels and these were successfully electrospun into mats which were found to be as effective antibacterial agents as pure lysozyme molecules. The dissolution rate of photo cross-linked PVP mats was observed to increase in comparison to pure PVP electrospun mats which opened a potential route for their use as antibacterial, on-demand, dissolvable coatings for various biomedical applications.

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