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Cyclodextrin Polymer Coatings Resist Protein Fouling, Mammalian Cell Adhesion, And Bacterial Attachment

Greg D. Learn, Emerson J. Lai, Horst A. von Recum

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AbstractUndesired attachment of proteins, cells/bacteria, and organisms on material surfaces is problematic in industrial and health care settings. In this study, polymer coatings are synthesized from subunits of cyclodextrin, an additive/excipient found in food/pharmaceutical formulations. These unique polymers, which have been applied mainly towards sustained drug delivery applications, are evaluated in this study for their ability to mitigate non-specific protein adsorption, mammalian cell (NIH/3T3) adhesion, and bacterial cell (Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli) attachment. Effects of cyclodextrin polymer composition, particularly incorporation of nonpolar crosslinks, on material properties and passive anti-biofouling performance are investigated. Results suggest that lightly-crosslinked cyclodextrin polymers possess excellent passive resistance to protein, cell, and bacterial attachment, likely due to the hydrophilic and electrically neutral surface properties of these coatings. At the same time, anti-biofouling performance decreased with increasing crosslink ratios, possibly a reflection of decreased polymer mobility, increased rigidity, and increased hydrophobic character. Cyclodextrin-based materials may be broadly useful as coatings in industrial or medical applications where biofouling-resistant and/or drug-delivering surfaces are required.