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Development of Molecularly Imprinted Polymers To Block Quorum Sensing and Inhibit Bacterial Biofilm Formation

Ma, Luyao, Feng, Shaolong, Fuente-Núñez, César de la, Hancock, Robert E. W., Lu, Xiaonan
ACS applied materials & interfaces 2018 v.10 no.22 pp. 18450-18457
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, adsorption, antibiotic resistance, bacterial adhesion, biofilm, cross infection, food processing equipment, humans, pathogens, polymers, quorum sensing
Bacterial biofilms are responsible for most clinical infections and show increased antimicrobial resistance. In this study, molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) were developed to specifically capture prototypical quorum sensing autoinducers [i.e., N-(3-oxododecanoyl)-l-homoserine lactone (3-oxo-C₁₂AHL)], interrupt quorum sensing, and subsequently inhibit biofilm formation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an important human nosocomial pathogen. The synthesis of MIPs was optimized by considering the amount and type of the functional monomers itaconic acid (IA) and 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA). IA-based MIPs showed high adsorption affinity toward 3-oxo-C₁₂AHL with an imprinting factor of 1.68. Compared to IA-based MIPs, the adsorption capacity of HEMA-based MIPs was improved fivefold. HEMA-based MIPs significantly reduced biofilm formation (by ∼65%), whereas biofilm suppression by IA-based MIPs was neutralized because of increased bacterial attachment. The developed MIPs represent promising alternative biofilm intervention agents that can be applied to surfaces relevant to clinical settings and food processing equipment.