2020-005 – Chemically Modified Silicone as an Antimicrobial and Antifungal Surface

Background Pathogenic biofilms, particularly in medical settings, are dangerous and expensive. During catheter exchange or prosthetic implant surgery, bacteria and fungi can enter the body and develop biofilms on both biological matter and implanted material surfaces. Biofilm growth occurs easily and rapidly in physiological conditions, due to a high availability of nutrients and desirable temperatures. Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus are common fungal and bacterial infections, respectively. Biofilms formed from other either of these pathogens can produce extremely negative outcomes, such as chronic infections dispersed throughout the body. Therefore, it is of high importance to combat the risk of fungal and bacterial biofilm attachment on any material surfaces entering the human body. Various polymeric antimicrobial surfaces have been developed to address biofilm formation, including widely studied, poly-ethylene-glycol (PEG), and other perfluorinated materials. Limited research has focused on understanding the antimicrobial properties of high molecular weight perfluorinated surfaces in medical environments; thus, this technology proposes to uncover the potential of chemically designed antimicrobial surfaces in biomedical applications. Technology Description Researchers at the University of New Mexico have synthesized chemically modified polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) surfaces, for use as antimicrobial and antifungal agents. Chemically modified materials were analyzed in comparison to unmodified materials to determine their effect on bacterial attachment and biofilm formation. The antimicrobial and antifungal characteristics, exhibited due to the chemical modifications of PDMS, allow the surface to prevent and/or mitigate biofilm growth. The modified PDMS surfaces can be applied to existing surfaces to halt biofilm growth and to medical devices to prevent bacterial or fungal infection. Gregg Banninger GBanninger@innovations.unm.edu 505-272-7908

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