Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Trends Biotechnol. 2005 Jul;23(7):343-8.

Surpassing nature: rational design of sterile-surface materials.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biology, Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The rise of multidrug-resistant pathogens and recalcitrance of biofilm infections present a formidable challenge to combating infectious diseases. There are numerous disinfectants and antiseptics for treating materials in hospitals and community settings, and devices such as catheters impregnated with anti-infectives have been introduced into practice. However, there are many limitations of materials impregnated with a leaching antibacterial agent. Recently, non-leaching, permanent, sterile-surface materials have been developed in which one end of a long-chained hydrophobic polycation containing antimicrobial monomers is attached covalently to the surface of a material, for example, cotton or plastic. The polymeric chain allows the antimicrobial moieties to permeate into, and kill, the cells of the pathogen. These sterile-surface materials kill both air- and waterborne pathogens and are not susceptible to existing resistance mechanisms.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center