A switchable material with a smart antimicrobial dual-action functionality, which is based on a highly stretchable silicon polymer gradiently doped with polyyrrole, is proposed. The material exhibits superhydrophobic and self-cleaning properties, high aerophilicity as well as the possibility of smart, electrically triggerable release of an incorporated drug. During the immersion of the material in water, an air gap is formed on its surface which prevents a formation of biofouling, attachment of microorganisms, and burst release of the incorporated drug. An application of external electric field switches the surface properties from the superhydrophobic to highly hydrophilic state that enables a wetting of the material surface and electrically triggered release of a loaded drug. After the electric field switching off and sample drying, the material surface returns to its intrinsic superhydrophobic state with the original self-cleaning properties so that the material surface can be simply cleaned, removing the bacteria. High flexibility and stretchability are additional favorable properties of the proposed smart antimicrobial material, making it a suitable candidate for a range of medical and related applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics