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Polymers (Basel). 2020 Feb 10;12(2). pii: E398. doi: 10.3390/polym12020398.

Fluorinated vs. Zwitterionic-Polymer Grafted Surfaces for Adhesion Prevention of the Fungal Pathogen Candida albicans.

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Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale and UdR Pisa INSTM, Università di Pisa, 56124 Pisa, Italy.
Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Università di Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy.
Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Pisa, 56126 Pisa, Italy.


Fluorinated (F6) and zwitterionic, as well as phosphorylcholine (MPC) and sulfobetaine (MSA), copolymers containing a low amount (1 and 5 mol%) of 3-(trimethoxysilyl)propyl methacrylate (PTMSi) were prepared and covalently grafted to glass slides by using the trimethoxysilyl groups as anchorage points. Glass-surface functionalization and polymer-film stability upon immersion in water were proven by contact angle and angle-resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (AR-XPS) measurements. Antifouling performance of the grafted films was assayed against the yeast Candida albicans, the most common Candida species, which causes over 80% of candidiasis. Results revealed that the F6 fluorinated, hydrophobic copolymers performed much better in reducing the adhesion of C. albicans, with respect to both corresponding zwitterionic, hydrophilic MPC and MSA counterparts, and were similar to the glass negative control, which is well-known to inhibit the adhesion of C. albicans. A composition-dependent activity was also found, with the films of copolymer with 99 mol% F6 fluorinated co-units performing best.


Candida albicans; adhesion; antifouling; biofouling; fluorinated polymer; zwitterionic polymer

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