Coating strategies based on antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) can substantially tackle infectious problems where bioinspired peptides can be immobilized through covalent attachment to the implant surfaces. The covalent immobilization allows long-term activity and sustained release of AMPs to inhibit bacterial colonization and subsequent biofilm formation. However, this approach requires higher antimicrobial activity, resistance to enzymatic degradation, and long stability.
A method is proposed to reliably graft antimicrobial peptides on metal surfaces using a physical surface modification that introduces primary amine chemical groups on the surface. These act as anchor points to covalently bind AMPs via stimuli-responsive polymer linking arms. The surfaces were characterized by XPS, FTIR, AFM, and Raman spectroscopy showing the effectiveness of the method. In addition, antimicrobial and cell culture studies show that the coatings are both antimicrobial and biocompatible.