Poly(Allylamine Hydrochloride) and ZnO Nanohybrid Coating for the Development of Hydrophobic, Antibacterial, and Biocompatible Textiles

Nanomaterials (Basel). 2024 Mar 25;14(7):570. doi: 10.3390/nano14070570.


In healthcare facilities, infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) from textile materials are a cause for concern, and nanomaterials are one of the solutions; however, their impact on safety and biocompatibility with the human body must not be neglected. This study aimed to develop a novel multilayer coating with poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH) and immobilized ZnO nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) to make efficient antibacterial and biocompatible cotton, polyester, and nylon textiles. For this purpose, the coated textiles were characterized with profilometry, contact angles, and electrokinetic analyzer measurements. The ZnO NPs on the textiles were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The antibacterial tests were conducted with S. aureus and biocompatibility with immortalized human keratinocyte cells. The results demonstrated successful PAH/ZnO coating formation on the textiles, demonstrating weak hydrophobic properties. Furthermore, PAH multilayers caused complete ZnO NP immobilization on the coated textiles. All coated textiles showed strong growth inhibition (2-3-log reduction) in planktonic and adhered S. aureus cells. The bacterial viability was reduced by more than 99%. Cotton, due to its better ZnO NP adherence, demonstrated a slightly higher antibacterial performance than polyester and nylon. The coating procedure enables the binding of ZnO NPs in an amount (<30 µg cm-2) that, after complete dissolution, is significantly below the concentration causing cytotoxicity (10 µg mL-1).

Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus; ZnO; nanoparticles; poly(allylamine hydrochloride); textiles.