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A Biodegradable Polycationic Paint that Kills Bacteria in Vitro and in Vivo

Hoque, Jiaul, Akkapeddi, Padma, Ghosh, Chandradhish, Uppu, Divakara S. S. M., Haldar, Jayanta
ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 2016 v.8 no.43 pp. 29298-29309
Enterococcus faecium, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, animal models, anti-infective properties, antibiotic resistance, bacteria, bacterial colonization, biodegradability, biofilm, catheters, cell death, cell membranes, chitin, coatings, erythrocytes, humans, kidney cells, lysozyme, medical equipment, methicillin, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, polymers, rats, toxicity
Bacterial colonization and subsequent formation of biofilms onto surfaces of medical devices and implants is a major source of nosocomial infections. Most antibacterial coatings to combat infections are either metal-based or nondegradable-polymer-based and hence limited by their nondegradability and unpredictable toxicity. Moreover, to combat infections effectively, the coatings are required to display simultaneous antibacterial and antibiofilm activity. Herein we report biocompatible and biodegradable coatings based on organo-soluble quaternary chitin polymers which were immobilized noncovalently onto surfaces as bactericidal paint. The polycationic paint was found to be active against both drug-sensitive and -resistant bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE), and β-lactam-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae. The cationic polymers were shown to interact with the negatively charged bacterial cell membrane and disrupt the membrane integrity, thereby causing leakage of intracellular constituents and cell death upon contact. Importantly, surfaces coated with the polymers inhibited formation of biofilms against both Gram-positive S. aureus and Gram-negative E. coli, two of the most clinically important bacteria that form biofilms. Surfaces coated with the polymers displayed negligible toxicity against human erythrocytes and embryo kidney cells. Notably, the polymers were shown to be susceptible toward lysozyme. Furthermore, subcutaneous implantation of polymer discs in rats led to 15–20% degradation in 4 weeks thereby displaying their biodegradability. In a murine model of subcutaneous infection, polymer-coated medical-grade catheter reduced MRSA burden by 3.7 log compared to that of noncoated catheter. Furthermore, no biofilm development was observed on the coated catheters under in vivo conditions. The polycationic materials thus developed herein represent a novel class of safe and effective coating agents for the prevention of device-associated infections.