Electrospun Biodegradable Nanofibers Coated Homogenously by Cu Magnetron Sputtering Exhibit Fast Ion Release. Computational and Experimental Study

AM Manakhov and NA Sitnikova and AR Tsygankova and AY Alekseev and LS Adamenko and E Permyakova and VS Baidyshev and ZI Popov and L Blahova and M Elias and L Zajickova and AO Solovieva, MEMBRANES, 11, 965 (2021).

DOI: 10.3390/membranes11120965

Copper-coated nanofibrous materials are desirable for catalysis, electrochemistry, sensing, and biomedical use. The preparation of copper or copper-coated nanofibers can be pretty challenging, requiring many chemical steps that we eliminated in our robust approach, where for the first time, Cu was deposited by magnetron sputtering onto temperature- sensitive polymer nanofibers. For the first time, the large-scale modeling of PCL films irradiation by molecular dynamics simulation was performed and allowed to predict the ions penetration depth and tune the deposition conditions. The Cu-coated polycaprolactone (PCL) nanofibers were thoroughly characterized and tested as antibacterial agents for various Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Fast release of Cu2+ ions (concentration up to 3.4 mu g/mL) led to significant suppression of E. coli and S. aureus colonies but was insufficient against S. typhimurium and Ps. aeruginosa. The effect of Cu layer oxidation upon contact with liquid media was investigated by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealing that, after two hours, 55% of Cu atoms are in form of CuO or Cu(OH)(2). The Cu-coated nanofibers will be great candidates for wound dressings thanks to an interesting synergistic effect: on the one hand, the rapid release of copper ions kills bacteria, while on the other hand, it stimulates the regeneration with the activation of immune cells. Indeed, copper ions are necessary for the bacteriostatic action of cells of the immune system. The reactive CO2/C2H4 plasma polymers deposited onto PCL-Cu nanofibers can be applied to grafting of viable proteins, peptides, or drugs, and it further explores the versatility of developed nanofibers for biomedical applications use.

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