Antibiofilm surface functionalization of catheters by magnesium fluoride nanoparticles

Int J Nanomedicine. 2012;7:1175-88. doi: 10.2147/IJN.S26770. Epub 2012 Mar 1.


The ability of bacteria to colonize catheters is a major cause of infection. In the current study, catheters were surface-modified with MgF(2) nanoparticles (NPs) using a sonochemical synthesis protocol described previously. The one-step synthesis and coating procedure yielded a homogenous MgF(2) NP layer on both the inside and outside of the catheter, as analyzed by high resolution scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy. The coating thickness varied from approximately 750 nm to 1000 nm on the inner walls and from approximately 450 nm to approximately 580 nm for the outer wall. The coating consisted of spherical MgF(2) NPs with an average diameter of approximately 25 nm. These MgF(2) NP-modified catheters were investigated for their ability to restrict bacterial biofilm formation. Two bacterial strains most commonly associated with catheter infections, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, were cultured in tryptic soy broth, artificial urine and human plasma on the modified catheters. The MgF(2) NP-coated catheters were able to significantly reduce bacterial colonization for a period of 1 week compared to the uncoated control. Finally, the potential cytotoxicity of MgF(2) NPs was also evaluated using human and mammalian cell lines and no significant reduction in the mitochondrial metabolism was observed. Taken together, our results indicate that the surface modification of catheters with MgF(2) NPs can be effective in preventing bacterial colonization and can provide catheters with long-lasting self-sterilizing properties.

Keywords: MgF2 NP coating; artificial urine; bacterial colonization; biocompatibility; human plasma; modified surfaces.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Biofilms / drug effects*
  • Catheters, Indwelling*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Drug Stability
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Fluorides / chemistry
  • Fluorides / pharmacokinetics
  • Fluorides / pharmacology*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Magnesium Compounds / chemistry
  • Magnesium Compounds / pharmacokinetics
  • Magnesium Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Materials Testing
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Sonication
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Surface Properties


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Magnesium Compounds
  • magnesium fluoride
  • Fluorides