Inhibition of bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation by a textured fluorinated alkoxyphosphazene surface

Meixian Tang, Chen Chen, Jieru Zhu, Harry R. Allcock, Christopher A. Siedlecki, Li Chong Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The utilization of biomaterials in implanted blood-contacting medical devices often induces a persistent problem of microbial infection, which results from bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation on the surface of biomaterials. In this research, we developed new fluorinated alkoxyphosphazene materials, specifically poly[bis(octafluoropentoxy) phosphazene] (OFP) and crosslinkable OFP (X–OFP), with improved mechanical properties, and further modified the surface topography with ordered pillars to improve the antibacterial properties. Three X–OFP materials, X–OFP3.3, X–OFP8.1, X–OFP13.6, with different crosslinking densities were synthesized, and textured films with patterns of 500/500/600 nm (diameter/spacing/height) were fabricated via a two stage soft lithography molding process. Experiments with 3 bacterial strains: Staphylococcal epidermidis, Staphylococcal aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa showed that bacterial adhesion coefficients were significantly lower on OFP and X–OFP smooth surfaces than on the polyurethane biomaterial, and surface texturing further reduced bacterial adhesion due to the reduction in accessible surface contact area. Furthermore the anti-bacterial adhesion effect shows a positive relationship with the crosslinking degree. Biofilm formation on the substrates was examined using a CDC biofilm reactor for 7 days and no biofilm formation was observed on textured X–OFP biomaterials. The results suggested that the combination of fluorocarbon chemistry and submicron topography modification in textured X–OFP materials may provide a practical approach to improve the biocompatibility of current biomaterials with significant reduction in risk of pathogenic infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-459
Number of pages13
JournalBioactive Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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