New strategies for multifunctional antibacterial materials
Licentiate thesis, 2023

Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are responsible for significant financial and human costs in healthcare systems. Therefore, a substantial amount of research has been devoted to developing biopolymer-based strategies that prevent bacterial attachment and biofilm formation on surfaces. Gelatin hydrogels have been used in the last decades for different biomedical applications due to the excellent biocompatibility, easy processability, bioactivities to mimic the extracellular matrix (ECM). However, their poor mechanical properties and thermal stability limited their potential applications. Herein, a facile and economical approach of introducing dopamine and [2-(methacryloyloxy) ethyl] dimethyl-(3-sulfopropyl) ammonium hydroxide (SBMA) via in situ synthesis into gelatin hydrogels with the existence of ZnSO4 was applied to overcome these disadvantages. This fabrication method allows the obtaining of gelatin-based hydrogels with fatigue resistance and mechanical stability from -100 to 80 ℃. Moreover, the hydrogels showed adhesive, self-healing, electrical and excellent antibacterial properties leading to their potential use as wearable monitoring sensors and antibacterial coatings. In particular, the hydrogels showed adhesion to various types of surfaces such as paper, skin, wood, plastic, rubber and steel, as well as 99.99% and 100% of antibacterial efficiency against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria respectively. The results indicate widespread applications of the new hydrogels in many biomedical areas.


antibacterial coatings

multifunctional materials

Virtual Development Laboratory (VDL Room), Hörsalsvägen 7A.
Opponent: Sami Hietala, Docent, Department of Chemistry, Helsinki University, Finland


Hengzhi Ruan

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Engineering Materials

Hengzhi Ruan, Alexandra Aulova, Viney Ghai, Santosh Pandit, Martin Lovmar, Ivan Mijakovic, Roland Kádár. Recent advances and challenges in polysaccharide-based antibacterial coating technologies

Hengzhi Ruan, Marko Bek, Santosh Pandit, Alexandra Aulova, Jian Zhang, Philip Bjellheim, Martin Lovmar, Ivan Mijakovic, Roland Kádár. Biomimetic antibacterial gelatin hydrogels with multifunctional properties for biomedical applications

Commercializing a new class of antibacterial surfaces: polymer graphene nanocomposites

European Commission (EC) (EC/H2020/955605), 2021-08-17 -- 2024-08-16.

Subject Categories

Polymer Chemistry

Materials Chemistry


Biomaterials Science


Chalmers Materials Analysis Laboratory

Areas of Advance

Materials Science



Virtual Development Laboratory (VDL Room), Hörsalsvägen 7A.


Opponent: Sami Hietala, Docent, Department of Chemistry, Helsinki University, Finland

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