Even in the modern medicine bacterial infections cause serious complications, which can influence the result of the treatment and/or operation and therefore corrupt the healing chances of the patients. Furthermore, the treatment of bacterial infections is complicated by increasing resistance features of the microorganisms against conventional antibiotics and is attended with substantial costs. Beside a systemic antibiotic gift, which is connected with the well-known disadvantages (undesirable side effects, training of resistances), more and more antiadhesive and/or antibacterial coatings are used for the prevention of infections as alternative and/or additional therapy. For that reason increasing efforts are made in the development of permanently antibacterial coatings.
The technology platform "J1013" is a confederation of 13 companies and 5 research institutes in the region of Jena. Aim is the development of a coating procedure to permanently coat porcelain, yarn and textiles with tailor-made antimicrobial layers. The main focus of the project is the functionalization of surfaces, which were activated in the vapour phase before, to apply bactericide and fungicide substances in an optimal and stable way. The biological testing of the antimicrobial properties of the porcelain and textiles will be performed with different bacteria and yeast. Their vitality and adhesion behaviour will be measured after different times with cell biological methods.
Another project focuses on coatings based on cationic polymers, namely quarternary ammonium, phosphonium and tertiary sulfonium compunds. The antibacterial effect of the cationic polymers is based on interactions with the negatively charged cell membrane of bacteria, which lead to a destruction of the cytoplasmic membrane and therefore to the death of the bacterium. These polymers are synthesized by radical polymerization and covalently bound to a functionalized substrate. The coatings were tested successfully against gram positive bacteria, e.g. Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis and against the gram negative bacteria, e.g. Escherichia coli. In these tests an antibacterial effect of up to 97,3% could be achieved. The cytocompatibility of the coatings was proven in first in-vitro-tests based on a mouse fibroblast cell line.