Precontrolled Alignment of Graphite Nanoplatelets in Polymeric Composites Prevents Bacterial Attachment
Journal article, 2020

Graphene coatings composed of vertical spikes are shown to mitigate bacterial attachment. Such coatings present hydrophobic edges of graphene, which penetrate the lipid bilayers causing physical disruption of bacterial cells. However, manufacturing of such surfaces on a scale required for antibacterial applications is currently not feasible. This study explores whether graphite can be used as a cheaper alternative to graphene coatings. To examine this, composites of graphite nanoplatelets (GNP) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) are extruded in controlled conditions to obtain controlled orientation of GNP flakes within the polymer matrix. Flakes are exposed by etching the surface of GNP–LDPE nanocomposites and antibacterial activity is evaluated. GNP nanoflakes on the extruded samples interact with bacterial cell membranes, physically damaging the cells. Bactericidal activity is observed dependent on orientation and nanoflakes density. Composites with high density of GNP (≥15%) present two key advantages: i) they decrease bacterial viability by a factor of 99.9999%, which is 10 000-fold improvement on the current benchmark, and ii) prevent bacterial colonization, thus drastically reducing the numbers of dead cells on the surface. The latter is a key advantage for longer-term biomedical applications, since these surfaces will not have to be cleaned or replaced for longer periods.

Adhesion

graphite nanoplatelets

low density polyethylene

Composite materials

Author

Santosh Pandit

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Systems and Synthetic Biology

Karolina Gaska

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Engineering Materials

Venkata Raghavendra Subrahmanya Sar Mokkapati

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Energy and Material, Environmental Inorganic Chemistry 2

Emanuele Celauro

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Chemical Biology

Abderahmane Derouiche

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Systems and Synthetic Biology

Sven Forsberg

2D fab AB

Magnus Svensson

Wellspect Healthcare

Roland Kádár

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Engineering Materials

Ivan Mijakovic

Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Systems and Synthetic Biology

Small

1613-6810 (ISSN) 1613-6829 (eISSN)

Vol. 16 5 1904756

Areas of Advance

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (2010-2017)

Life Science Engineering (2010-2018)

Materials Science

Subject Categories

Medical Engineering

Textile, Rubber and Polymeric Materials

Biomedical Laboratory Science/Technology

DOI

10.1002/smll.201904756

PubMed

31916683

More information

Latest update

3/10/2020