Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Cellulose acetate nanoneedle array covered with phosphorylcholine moiety as a biocompatible and sustainable antifouling material

  • 402 Accesses


Extensive efforts have been devoted toward developing antibiofilm materials that can efficiently suppress bacterial attachment and subsequent biofilm formation. However, many of the previous approaches are based on non-biocompatible, non-degradable, and environmentally harmful synthetic materials. Herein, we report an efficient and sustainable biofilm-resistant material that is made of a biocompatible, biodegradable, and naturally abundant cellulose derivate biopolymer. The biofilm-resistant material is made of cellulose acetate (CA) and possesses precisely defined nanoscale needle-like architectures on its surface. The CA nanoneedle array is further coated with a cell-membrane mimicking monomer of 2-methacryloryloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC). Based on the synergetic integration of the bio- and environment-friendly polymers of CA and MPC into nanoscale topography, the nanostructured CA not only effectively prevents bacterial attachment but also simultaneously exhibits strong bactericidal effects against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. This natural cellulose derivative-based nanostructured material has strong potential as a biocompatible, and eco-friendly antibiofilm material for versatile uses in biomedical and industrial applications.

Graphic abstract

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7


  1. Abou-Yousef H, Saber E, Abdel-Aziz MS, Kamel S (2018) Efficient alternative of antimicrobial nanocomposites based on cellulose acetate/Cu-NPs. Soft Mater 16:141–150

  2. Al-Jumaili A, Alancherry S, Bazaka K, Jacob MV (2017) Review on the antimicrobial properties of carbon nanostructures. Materials 10:1066

  3. Bai YK, Liu YJ, Wang QH (2018) Cellulose acetate for shape memory polymer: natural, simple, high performance, and recyclable. Adv Polym Tech 37:869–877

  4. Bhadra CM et al (2015) Antibacterial titanium nano-patterned arrays inspired by dragonfly wings. Sci Rep 5:16817

  5. Calvimontes A, Mauersberger P, Nitschke M, Dutschk V, Simon F (2011) Effects of oxygen plasma on cellulose surface. Cellulose 18:803–809

  6. Cloutier M, Mantovani D, Rosei F (2015) Antibacterial coatings: challenges, perspectives, and opportunities. Trends Biotechnol 33:637–652

  7. Dickson MN, Liang EI, Rodriguez LA, Vollereaux N, Yee AF (2015) Nanopatterned polymer surfaces with bactericidal properties. Biointerphases 10:021010

  8. Ding X, Yang C, Lim TP, Hsu LY, Engler AC, Hedrick JL, Yang YY (2012) Antibacterial and antifouling catheter coatings using surface grafted PEG-b-cationic polycarbonate diblock copolymers. Biomaterials 33:6593–6603

  9. Francis AP, Devasena T (2018) Toxicity of carbon nanotubes: a review. Toxicol Ind Health 34:200–210

  10. Francolini I, Donelli G (2010) Prevention and control of biofilm-based medical-device-related infections. Fems Immunol Med Mic 59:227–238

  11. Fullenkamp DE, Rivera JG, Gong YK, Lau KHA, He LH, Varshney R, Messersmith PB (2012) Mussel-inspired silver-releasing antibacterial hydrogels. Biomaterials 33:3783–3791

  12. Habibi Y, Lucia LA, Rojas OJ (2010) Cellulose nanocrystals: chemistry, self-assembly, and applications. Chem Rev 110:3479–3500

  13. Han BX, Zhang DL, Shao ZQ, Kong LL, Lv SY (2013) Preparation and characterization of cellulose acetate/carboxymethyl cellulose acetate blend ultrafiltration membranes. Desalination 311:80–89

  14. Hazell G, May PW, Taylor P, Nobbs AH, Welch CC, Su B (2018) Studies of black silicon and black diamond as materials for antibacterial surfaces. Biomater Sci 6:1424–1432

  15. He M, Gao K, Zhou L, Jiao Z, Wu M, Cao J, You X, Cai Z, Su Y, Jiang Z (2016) Zwitterionic materials for antifouling membrane surface construction. Acta Biomater 40:142–152

  16. Hua Z, Sitaru R, Denes F, Young R (1997) Mechanisms of oxygen-and argon-RF-plasma-induced surface chemistry of cellulose. Plasmas Polym 2:199–224

  17. Ishihara K, Ueda T, Nakabayashi N (1990) Preparation of phospholipid polymers and their properties as polymer hydrogel membranes. Polym J 22:355–360

  18. Ivanova EP, Hasan J, Webb HK, Gervinskas G, Juodkazis S, Truong VK, Wu AHF, Lamb RN, Baulin VA, Watson GS, Watson JA (2013) Bactericidal activity of black silicon. Nat Commun 4:2838

  19. Jatoi AW, Kim IS, Ni Q-Q (2019) Cellulose acetate nanofibers embedded with AgNPs anchored TiO2 nanoparticles for long term excellent antibacterial applications. Carbohydr Polym 207:640–649

  20. Joubert JM, Krige GJR, Borgin K (1959) Evidence for a hydrate of cellulose from studies of its surface properties. Nature 184:1561–1562

  21. Kang S, Herzberg M, Rodrigues DF, Elimelech M (2008) Antibacterial effects of carbon nanotubes: size does matter. Langmuir 24:6409–6413

  22. Kang T, Banquy X, Heo JH, Lim CN, Lynd NA, Lundberg P, Oh DX, Lee HK, Hong YK, Hwang DS, Waite JH, Israelachvili JN, Hawker CJ (2016) Mussel-inspired anchoring of polymer loops that provide superior surface Lubrication and antifouling properties. ACS Nano 10:930–937

  23. Kusumocahyo SP, Kanamori T, Iwatsubo T, Sumaru K, Shinbo T (2002) Development of polyion complex membranes based on cellulose acetate modified by oxygen plasma treatment for pervaporation. J Membrane Sci 208:223–231

  24. Kwak R, Park H-H, Ko H, Seong M, Kwak MK, Jeong HE (2017) Partially cured photopolymer with gradient bingham plastic behaviors as a versatile deformable material. ACS Macro Lett 6:561–565

  25. Lim C, Park S, Park J, Ko J, Lee DW, Hwang DS (2018) Probing nanomechanical interaction at the interface between biological membrane and potentially toxic chemical. J Hazard Mater 353:271–279

  26. Liu T, Yin B, He T, Guo N, Dong LH, Yin YS (2012) Complementary effects of nanosilver and superhydrophobic coatings on the prevention of marine bacterial adhesion. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 4:4683–4690

  27. Ma CF, Zhang WP, Zhang GZ, Qian PY (2017) Environmentally friendly antifouling coatings based on biodegradable polymer and natural antifoulant. ACS Sustain Chem Eng 5:6304–6309

  28. Mohan T, Kargl R, Tradt KE, Kultereer MR, Braćić M, Hribernik S, Stana-Kleinschek K, Ribitsch V (2015) Antifouling coating of cellulose acetate thin films with polysaccharide multilayers. Carbohydr Polym 116:149–158

  29. Morigaki K, Schönherr H, Frank CW, Knoll W (2003) Photolithographic polymerization of diacetylene-containing phospholipid bilayers studied by multimode atomic force microscopy. Langmuir 19:6994–7002

  30. Morigaki K, Schönherr H, Okazaki T (2007) Polymerization of diacetylene phospholipid bilayers on solid substrate: influence of the film deposition temperature. Langmuir 23:12254–12260

  31. Moro T, Takatori Y, Ishihara K, Konno T, Takigawa Y, Matsushita T, Chung UI, Nakamura K, Kawaguchi H (2004) Surface grafting of artificial joints with a biocompatible polymer for preventing periprosthetic osteolysis. Nat Mater 3:829–836

  32. Muhammadi Shabina, Afzal M, Hameed S (2015) Bacterial polyhydroxyalkanoates-eco-friendly next generation plastic: production, biocompatibility, biodegradation, physical properties and applications. Green Chem Lett Rev 8:56–77

  33. Ngo BKD, Grunlan MA (2017) Protein Resistant Polymeric Biomaterials. ACS Macro Lett 6:992–1000

  34. Nthunya LN, Masheane ML, Malinga SP, Nxumalo EN, Barnard TG, Kao M, Tetana ZN, Mhlanga SD (2016) Greener approach to prepare electrospun antibacterial β-cyclodextrin/cellulose acetate nanofibers for removal of bacteria from water. ACS Sustain Chem Eng 5:153–160

  35. Ozkan E, Crick CC, Taylor A, Allan E, Parkin IP (2016) Copper-based water repellent and antibacterial coatings by aerosol assisted chemical vapour deposition. Chem Sci 7:5126–5131

  36. Padmavathy N, Samantaray PK, Ghosh LD, Madras G, Bose SJN (2017) Selective cleavage of the polyphosphoester in crosslinked copper based nanogels: enhanced antibacterial performance through controlled release of copper. Nanoscale 9:12664–12676

  37. Park H-H, Sun K, Seong M, Kang M, Park S, Hong S, Jung H, Jang J, Kim J, Jeong HE (2018) Lipid-hydrogel-nanostructure hybrids as robust biofilm-resistant polymeric materials. ACS Macro Lett 8:64–69

  38. Persin Z, Vesel A, Kleinschek KS, Mozetic M (2012) Characterisation of surface properties of chemical and plasma treated regenerated cellulose fabric. Text Res J 82:2078–2089

  39. Salama A, Mohamed A, Aboamera NM, Osman T, Khattab A (2018) Characterization and mechanical properties of cellulose acetate/carbon nanotube composite nanofibers. Adv Polym Tech 37:2446–2451

  40. Salas C, Nypelo T, Rodriguez-Abreu C, Carrillo C, Rojas OJ (2014) Nanocellulose properties and applications in colloids and interfaces. Curr Opin Colloid In 19:383–396

  41. Saraswathi MSSA, Rana D, Alwarappan S, Gowrishankar S, Kanimozhi P, Nagendran A (2019) Cellulose acetate ultrafiltration membranes customized with bio-inspired polydopamine coating and in situ immobilization of silver nanoparticles. New J Chem 43:4216–4225

  42. Song JL, Birbach NL, Hinestroza JP (2012) Deposition of silver nanoparticles on cellulosic fibers via stabilization of carboxymethyl groups. Cellulose 19:411–424

  43. Surdu L et al (2014) The improvement of the resistance to Candida albicans and Trichophyton interdigitale of some woven fabrics based on cotton. Bioinorg Chem Appl 2014:763269

  44. Vogel N, Utech S, England GT, Shirman T, Phillips KR, Koay N, Burgess IB, Kolle M, Weitz DA, Aizenberg J (2015) Color from hierarchy: diverse optical properties of micron-sized spherical colloidal assemblies. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 112:10845–10850

  45. Wahab JA, Kim IS, Ni QQ (2019) A comparative study on synthesis of AgNPs on cellulose nanofibers by thermal treatment and DMF for antibacterial activities. Mat Sci Eng C 98:1179–1195

  46. Xu WZ, Gao G, Kadla JF (2013) Synthesis of antibacterial cellulose materials using a “clickable” quaternary ammonium compound. Cellulose 20:1187–1199

  47. Yang C, Ding X, Ono RJ, Lee H, Hsu LY, Tong YW, Hedrick J, Yang YY (2014) Brush-like polycarbonates containing dopamine, cations, and peg providing a broad-spectrum, antibacterial, and antifouling surface via one-step coating. Adv Mater 26:7346–7351

  48. Yang WW, Li J, Zhou P, Zhu LH, Tang HQ (2017) Superhydrophobic copper coating: switchable wettability, on-demand oil-water separation, and antifouling. Chem Eng J 327:849–854

  49. Ye SH, Watanabe J, Iwasaki Y, Ishihara K (2003) Antifouling blood purification membrane composed of cellulose acetate and phospholipid polymer. Biomaterials 24:4143–4152

  50. Yi H, Hwang I, Lee JH, Lee D, Lim H, Tahk D, Sung M, Bae WG, Choi S-J, Kwak MK (2014) Continuous and scalable fabrication of bioinspired dry adhesives via a roll-to-roll process with modulated ultraviolet-curable resin. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 6:14590–14599

  51. Yu DG, Li XY, Wang X, Chian W, Liao YZ, Li Y (2013) Zero-order drug release cellulose acetate nanofibers prepared using coaxial electrospinning. Cellulose 20:379–389

  52. Zentz F, Hellio C, Valla A, De La Broise D, Bremer G, Labia R (2002) Antifouling activities of N-substituted imides: antimicrobial activities and inhibition of Mytilus edulis phenoloxidase. Mar Biotechnol 4:431–440

  53. Zhang S, Rolfe P, Wright G, Lian W, Milling A, Tanaka S, Ishihara K (1998) Physical and biological properties of compound membranes incorporating a copolymer with a phosphorylcholine head group. Biomaterials 19:691–700

  54. Zhang R, Liu Y, He M, Su Y, Zhao X, Elimelech M, Jiang Z (2016) Antifouling membranes for sustainable water purification: strategies and mechanisms. Chem Soc Rev 45:5888–5924

  55. Zhang QH, Jiang JX, Gao F, Zhang GF, Zhan XL, Chen FQ (2017) Engineering high-effective antifouling polyether sulfone membrane with P(PEG-PDMS-KH570)@SiO2 nanocomposite via in situ sol-gel process. Chem Eng J 321:412–423

  56. Zoppe JO, Peresin MS, Habibi Y, Venditti RA, Rojas OJ (2009) Reinforcing poly (ε-caprolactone) nanofibers with cellulose nanocrystals. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 1:1996–2004

Download references


This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) (2019M3C1B7025092).

Author information

Correspondence to Hoon Eui Jeong.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1788 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Park, H., Sun, K., Lee, D. et al. Cellulose acetate nanoneedle array covered with phosphorylcholine moiety as a biocompatible and sustainable antifouling material. Cellulose 26, 8775–8788 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10570-019-02681-w

Download citation


  • Antifouling
  • Antibacterial
  • Biofilm
  • Cellulose acetate
  • MPC
  • Nanostructure