Redox-Channeling Polydopamine-Ferrocene (PDA-Fc) Coating To Confer Context-Dependent and Photothermal Antimicrobial Activities

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2020 Feb 19;12(7):8915-8928. doi: 10.1021/acsami.9b22339. Epub 2020 Feb 5.


Microbial disinfection associated with medical device surfaces has been an increasing need, and surface modification strategies such as antibacterial coatings have gained great interest. Here, we report the development of polydopamine-ferrocene (PDA-Fc)-functionalized TiO2 nanorods (Ti-Nd-PDA-Fc) as a context-dependent antibacterial system on implant to combat bacterial infection and hinder biofilm formation. In this work, two synergistic antimicrobial mechanisms of the PDA-Fc coating are proposed. First, the PDA-Fc coating is redox-active and can be locally activated to release antibacterial reactive oxygen species (ROS), especially ·OH in response to the acidic microenvironment induced by bacteria colonization and host immune responses. The results demonstrate that redox-based antimicrobial activity of Ti-Nd-PDA-Fc offers antibacterial efficacy of over 95 and 92% against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Escherichia coli (E. coli), respectively. Second, the photothermal effect of PDA can enhance the antibacterial capability upon near-infrared (NIR) irradiation, with over 99% killing efficacy against MRSA and E. coli, and even suppress the formation of biofilm through both localized hyperthermia and enhanced ·OH generation. Additionally, Ti-Nd-PDA-Fc is biocompatible when tested with model pre-osteoblast MC-3T3 E1 cells and promotes cell adhesion and spreading presumably due to its nanotopographical features. The MRSA-infected wound model also indicates that Ti-Nd-PDA-Fc with NIR irradiation can effectively eliminate bacterial infection and suppress host inflammatory responses. We believe that this study demonstrates a simple means to create biocompatible redox-active coatings that confer context-dependent antibacterial activities to implant surfaces.

Keywords: antibacterial; chemodynamic therapy; hydroxy radical; implant; photothermal; polydopamine; redox.

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Biofilms / drug effects*
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible / pharmacology*
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Ferrous Compounds / chemistry
  • Ferrous Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Indoles / chemistry
  • Indoles / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Metallocenes / chemistry
  • Metallocenes / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Nanotubes / chemistry*
  • Nanotubes / ultrastructure
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phototherapy
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Polymers / pharmacology*
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / pharmacology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Temperature
  • Titanium / chemistry
  • Titanium / pharmacology
  • Wound Healing / drug effects
  • X-Ray Diffraction


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Coated Materials, Biocompatible
  • Ferrous Compounds
  • Indoles
  • Metallocenes
  • Polymers
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • polydopamine
  • Titanium
  • ferrocene