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Combinatorial discovery of polymers resistant to bacterial attachment

Hook, Andrew L.; Chang, Chien-Yi; Yang, Jing; Luckett, Jeni; Cockayne, Alan; Atkinson, Steve; Mei, Ying; Bayston, Roger; Irvine, Derek J.; Langer, Robert; Anderson, Daniel G.; Williams, Paul; Davies, Martyn C.; Alexander, Morgan R.

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Chien-Yi Chang

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Assistant Professor

Alan Cockayne

Ying Mei

Roger Bayston

Derek J. Irvine

Robert Langer

Daniel G. Anderson

Professor of Molecular Microbiology

Martyn C. Davies


Bacterial attachment and subsequent biofilm formation pose key challenges to the optimal performance of medical devices. In this study, we determined the attachment of selected bacterial species to hundreds of polymeric materials in a high-throughput microarray format. Using this method, we identified a group of structurally related materials comprising ester and cyclic hydrocarbon moieties that substantially reduced the attachment of pathogenic bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli). Coating silicone with these 'hit' materials achieved up to a 30-fold (96.7%) reduction in the surface area covered by bacteria compared with a commercial silver hydrogel coating in vitro, and the same material coatings were effective at reducing bacterial attachment in vivo in a mouse implant infection model. These polymers represent a class of materials that reduce the attachment of bacteria that could not have been predicted to have this property from the current understanding of bacteria-surface interactions. © 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.


Hook, A. L., Chang, C., Yang, J., Luckett, J., Cockayne, A., Atkinson, S., …Alexander, M. R. (2012). Combinatorial discovery of polymers resistant to bacterial attachment. Nature Biotechnology, 30(9), 868-875.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 26, 2012
Online Publication Date Aug 12, 2012
Publication Date 2012-09
Deposit Date Mar 3, 2016
Publicly Available Date Mar 3, 2016
Journal Nature Biotechnology
Print ISSN 1087-0156
Electronic ISSN 1546-1696
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Issue 9
Pages 868-875
Keywords Bacterial Adhesion, Biomedical Materials, Polymer Synthesis
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