The biocompatibility and biofilm resistance of implant coatings based on hydrophilic polymer brushes conjugated with antimicrobial peptides

Guangzheng Gao, Dirk Lange, Kai Hilpert, Jason Kindrachuk, Yuquan Zou, John T.J. Cheng, Mehdi Kazemzadeh-Narbat, Kai Yu, Rizhi Wang, Suzana K. Straus, Donald E. Brooks, Ben H. Chew, Robert E.W. Hancock, Jayachandran N. Kizhakkedathu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

273 Citations (Scopus)


Bacterial colonization on implant surfaces and subsequent infections are one of the most common reasons for the failure of many indwelling devices. Several approaches including antimicrobial and antibiotic-eluting coatings on implants have been attempted; however, none of these approaches succeed in vivo. Here we report a polymer brush based implant coating that is non-toxic, antimicrobial and biofilm resistant. These coating consists of covalently grafted hydrophilic polymer chains conjugated with an optimized series of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). These tethered AMPs maintained excellent broad spectrum antimicrobial activity in vitro and in vivo. We found that this specially structured robust coating was extremely effective in resisting biofilm formation, and that the biofilm resistance depended on the nature of conjugated peptides. The coating had no toxicity to osteoblast-like cells and showed insignificant platelet activation and adhesion, and complement activation in human blood. Since such coatings can be applied to most currently used implant surfaces, our approach has significant potential for the development of infection-resistant implants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3899-3909
Number of pages11
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimicrobial coatings
  • Antimicrobial peptides
  • Biofilm resistance
  • Blood/tissue toxicity
  • Implant-associated infection
  • Polymer brushes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials

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