Engineering Biomimetic Selectively Antibacterial and Biocompatible Metallochitin Films

Engineering Biomimetic Selectively Antibacterial and Biocompatible Metallochitin Films

Karina Ashurbekova

Pre-doctoral Researcher, Nanomaterials, CIC nanoGUNE

The progress of our civilization and well-being of mankind entails the perpetual development of sophisticated functional materials. Multifunctional surfaces with improved biocompatibility that simultaneously prevent bacterial contamination and biofilm formation are a great challenge and a major arena of the current research on biomaterials. The present work provides the first solid foundation for growing conformal ultrathin functional films of chitin-based hybrid biomaterials, which we term metallochitins or, more generally, metallosaccharides. Inspired by the properties of natural chitin, we have developed a series of bioactive coatings by fusion of sugar-type molecular precursors with metalorganic compounds through Molecular Layer Deposition (MLD). A variety of experimental (FTIR, QCM, XPS, XRR, TEM, EELS, EDX) and theoretical (DFT) studies were performed to confirm the metallochitin film growth and characterize their composition and structure. The mild process temperature and solvent-free nature of the MLD process enables the growth of conformal hybrid layers on a variety of substrates, regardless of the complexity in topology or presence of high-aspect-ratio features. Our in vitro tests have confirmed that from the bioactivity prospect the metallosaccharides are an excellent analogue of natural chitin, stimulating cell growth and proliferation, while simultaneously preventing the adhesion of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Metalation of the chitin film with aluminum and titanium increases the chemical and mechanical stability of the organic material. This generates new opportunities for tailoring highly uniform ultra-thin hybrid films with improved biocompatibility and host response, while avoiding bacterial infection.


nanoGUNE seminar room, Tolosa Hiribidea 76, Donostia - San Sebastian


Karina Ashurbekova, Pre-doctoral Researcher, Nanomaterials, CIC nanoGUNE

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