High-throughput identification of bacteria repellent polymers for medical devices

Maurice Gallagher, Peter Gwynne, Mei Wu, Ailsa Hardman, Annamaria Lilienkampf, Salvatore Pernagallo, Garry Blakely, David G. Swann, Mark Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Medical devices are often associated with hospital-acquired infections, which place enormous strain on patients and the healthcare system as well as contributing to antimicrobial resistance. One possible avenue for the reduction of device-associated infections is the identification of bacteria-repellent polymer coatings for these devices, which would prevent bacterial binding at the initial attachment step. A method for the identification of such repellent polymers, based on the parallel screening of hundreds of polymers using a microarray, is described here. This high-throughput method resulted in the identification of a range of promising polymers that resisted binding of various clinically relevant bacterial species individually and also as multi-species communities. One polymer, PA13 (poly(methylmethacrylate-co-dimethylacrylamide)), demonstrated significant reduction in attachment of a number of hospital isolates when coated onto two commercially available central venous catheters. The method described could be applied to identify polymers for a wide range of applications in which modification of bacterial attachment is important.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere54382
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE)
Issue number117
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2016


  • Polymer microarrays
  • High - throughput screening
  • Polymer coatings
  • Catheter coating
  • Bacteria surface repellence
  • Medical device coating
  • Implant coating

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