Hot-melt extrusion of photodynamic antimicrobial polymers for prevention of microbial contamination

Matthew P. Wylie, Nicola J. Irwin, David Howard, Katie Heydon, Colin P. McCoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
116 Downloads (Pure)


Infectious disease outbreaks within healthcare facilities can exacerbate patient illness and, in some cases, can be fatal. Contaminated surfaces and medical devices can act as a reservoir for transmission of pathogens and have been linked to the rising incidence of healthcare-acquired infections. Antimicrobial surfaces can reduce microbial contamination and transmission and have emerged as a crucial component in healthcare infection control in recent years. The aim of this study was to manufacture antimicrobial polymer surfaces containing the photosensitiser, toluidine blue O (TBO), using hot-melt extrusion (HME). Several concentrations of TBO were combined with a range of medically relevant polymers via HME. TBO-polymer extrudates displayed no significant differences in thermal properties and surface wettability relative to non-loaded polymers. Minimal leaching of TBO from the surface was confirmed through in vitro release studies. Antibacterial activity was observed to vary according to the polymer and concentration of incorporated TBO, with PEBAX® polymers modified with 0.1% w/w TBO demonstrating promising reductions of >99.9% in viable bacterial adherence of a range of common nosocomial pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Acinetobacter baumannii and Escherichia coli. This study demonstrates the use of HME as a facile alternative method to common encapsulation strategies for the production of light-activated antimicrobial polymer surfaces. This method can be easily translated to large-scale manufacture and, in addition, the polymers constitute promising antimicrobial base materials for the rapidly growing additive manufacturing industries.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112098
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology
Early online date25 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2021


  • Hot-melt extrusion
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • antimicrobial chemotherapy
  • Toluidine blue O
  • Infection control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Pharmacy
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)


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