269170 Electrospun Antimicrobial Mats
Nano- to micro fibrous mats with antimicrobial properties have been produced using general electrospinning techniques. Mats were created by solubilizing conjugated polyelectrolytes (CPEs) with a variety of different terminal moieties and chain lengths in a carrier polymer, polycaprolactone (PCL). Incorporation of the CPEs did not affect resulting fiber morphology as determined by optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Confirmation of CPEs within the fibers was performed via optical and fluorescent imaging. CPEs were found to be uniformly distributed along the surface of the polymer fibers which enabled loadings as low as 1% wt CPE to exhibit excellent biocidal efficacy. Antimicrobial activity was tested by exposing the mats to bacterial suspensions both in solution and aerosolized of both Gram positive (S. aureus) and Gram negative (E. coli) followed by analysis with flow cytometry as well as fluorescent and confocal microscopy. The inherent high surface area to volume ratio of the electrospun mats allows for efficient dispersion of the antimicrobial and in turn very effective bacterial killing. The resulting combination of CPE and carrier polymers to prepare non-woven mats can be used in a number of fields of interest including but not limited to antimicrobial filter, wound healing, and textile applications.