Multifunctional antibacterial nanofiber membrane


Nowadays there are numerous nanofabrication techniques such as the design and fabrication of antibacterial nanomaterials which attracted significant attention. Currently, with antibiotic resistant bacteria on the rise nanomaterials capable of releasing antibacterial agents have been identified as a promising solution.

Among the available antibacterial agents, nitric oxide has been widely used in medicine owing to its excellent properties and functions like antithrombotic. Alternatively, research has shown that nitric oxide photo donors are used to efficiently represent the generation and storage of nitric oxide. As such, preparation and incorporation of nitric oxide donors and nitric oxide photo donors in biomedical nanomaterials have been realized. In line with these advancements, a convenient method for multifunctional antibacterial treatments is highly desirable. In a recently published literature, polyethyleneimine compound with good antibacterial effects have been deemed suitable for multimodal antibacterial treatments especially in healing wounds.

Recently, a team of researchers at Charles University Dr. Jiří Dolanský and Professor Jiří Mosinger from Faculty of Science in collaboration with Dr. Jan Demel from Czech Academy of Sciences developed polystyrene nanofiber membrane with antibacterial capabilities. In particular, it was based on a covalently bonded nitric oxide donor and polyethyleneimine in which the release of nitric oxide radicals was triggered by visible light from a photo donor. Their research work is currently published in Journal of Material Science.

Briefly, the research team fabricated the nanofiber membranes through electrospinning process followed by two-step functionalization of the surface using chlorosulfonic acid. Next, the resulting nanofiber membranes were characterized using high hydrophilicity and photogeneration of nitric oxide radicals and retention of carbon dioxide. Furthermore, the researchers investigated the properties of the membranes, their antibacterial effects, and feasibility in protecting the membranes from pathogens.

The authors observed that the nanofiber membranes exhibited very strong and visible antibacterial effects. Consequently, the membranes successfully prevented entry of pathogens, which was attributed to surface antibacterial effects and the presence of polyethyleneimine that significantly decreased bacteria adherence. In addition, the authors noted that the increased surface area of the nanofiber membranes structures resulted in an increase in the concentration of the nitric oxide photo donor and polyethyleneimine. This also helped in enhancing the antibacterial properties of the polystyrene nanofiber membrane.

In summary, the study by Charles University scientists successfully fabricate multifunctional nanofiber membranes with enhanced antibacterial effects. To actualize their study, they tested the antibacterial properties of the developed nanofiber membrane on Escherichia Coli. It exhibited strong antibacterial effects when activated by visible light associated with enhanced carbon dioxide absorption. The reported study is important because offered vital information that will pave way for the development of multifactional antibacterial agents as an alternative to antibiotics for further advancement of the medical field.


Dolanský, J., Demel, J., & Mosinger, J. (2019). Multifunctional polystyrene nanofiber membrane with bounded polyethyleneimine and NO photodonor: dark- and light-induced antibacterial effect and enhanced CO2 adsorption. Journal of Materials Science, 54(3), 2740-2753.

Go To Journal of Materials Science

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