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Impact of polymeric films and hydrogels: Physical characteristics on bacterial growth

Hydrogels find diverse applications in manipulating bacteria, and serving purposes like elevation, maintenance, and elimination. Several factors of hydrogel have been studied in the benefits of antibacterial activity. Factors such as hydrogel stiffness and roughness gain significance in surface coating, influencing bacterial behavior. However, the intricate interplay of hydrogel stiffness, roughness, polymer types, and bacterial species necessitates further exploration. The choice of polymer is dictated by the specific objectives, particularly in antibacterial scenarios where polymers with positive charge, hydrophilicity, and acidity prove effective. These properties induce robust electrostatic and hydrophobic/hydrophilic interactions, along with pH?induced cell membrane damage, collectively contributing to hindered bacterial adhesion and growth. Additionally, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) emerge as pivotal influencers in bacterial adhesion and proliferation. EPS production alters bacterial surfaces, fostering connections between bacteria and facilitating biofilm formation. The hydrophobic nature of EPS further complicates bacterial interactions with surface materials, emphasizing the nuanced interplay of hydrophilic and hydrophobic forces in bacterial adhesion. Herein, this work article has reviewed the related study of each physical property related to antibacterial property on the surface of the hydrogel. Moreover, this work also illustrates applications of the antibacterial properties of hydrogel for medical and surface treatment, including wound healing, food packaging, and surface coating. Additionally, the bacteria growing on hydrogel for engineered living materials, have been updated in various applications.

Publication date: 09/02/2024

Polymers for Advanced Technologies


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.