Antimicrobial and anti-biofilm properties of polypropylene meshes coated with metal-containing DLC thin films

  • Elisa M. Cazalini
  • Walter Miyakawa
  • Guilherme R. Teodoro
  • Argemiro S. S. Sobrinho
  • José E. Matieli
  • Marcos Massi
  • Cristiane Y. Koga-Ito
Biomaterials Synthesis and Characterization Original Research
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Biomaterials Synthesis and Characterization


A promising strategy to reduce nosocomial infections related to prosthetic meshes is the prevention of microbial colonization. To this aim, prosthetic meshes coated with antimicrobial thin films are proposed. Commercial polypropylene meshes were coated with metal-containing diamond-like carbon (Me-DLC) thin films by the magnetron sputtering technique. Several dissimilar metals (silver, cobalt, indium, tungsten, tin, aluminum, chromium, zinc, manganese, tantalum, and titanium) were tested and compositional analyses of each Me-DLC were performed by Rutherford backscattering spectrometry. Antimicrobial activities of the films against five microbial species (Candida albicans, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Enterococcus faecalis) were also investigated by a modified Kirby-Bauer test. Results showed that films containing silver and cobalt have inhibited the growth of all microbial species. Tungsten-DLC, tin-DLC, aluminum-DLC, zinc-DLC, manganese-DLC, and tantalum-DLC inhibited the growth of some strains, while chromium- and titanium-DLC weakly inhibited the growth of only one tested strain. In-DLC film showed no antimicrobial activity. The effects of tungsten-DLC and cobalt-DLC on Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm formation were also assessed. Tungsten-DLC was able to significantly reduce biofilm formation. Overall, the experimental results in the present study have shown new approaches to coating polymeric biomaterials aiming antimicrobial effect.

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The authors are grateful to the Laboratory of Analysis of Materials by Ionic Beams of the Institute of Physics-University of São Paulo for RBS analysis, Center for Radiation Technology of the Nuclear and Energy Research Institute for the sterilization of the samples, and the agencies Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel and National Council for Scientific and Technological Development for the financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsTechnological Institute of Aeronautics – ITASão José dos CamposBrazil
  2. 2.Oral Biopathology Graduate Program, Institute of Science and TechnologySão Paulo State University – UNESPSão José dos CamposBrazil
  3. 3.School of Engineering-PPGEMNMackenzie Presbyterian UniversitySão PauloBrazil
  4. 4.Department of Environmental Engineering, Institute of Science and TechnologySão Paulo State University – UNESPSão José dos CamposBrazil

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