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Antibacterial Activity of Hydrophobic Composite Materials Containing a Visible-Light-Sensitive Photocatalyst

DOI: 10.1155/2011/380979

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The conventional superhydrophobic surface offered by PTFE provides no sterilization performance and is not sufficiently repellent against organic liquids. These limit PTFE's application in the field of disinfection and result a lack of durability. N-doped TiO2 photocatalyst added PTFE composite material was developed to remedy these shortcomings. This paper reports the surface characteristics, and the bactericidal and self-cleaning performance of the newly-developed composite material. The material exhibited a contact angle exceeding 150 degrees consistent with its hydrophobicity despite the inclusion of the hydrophilic N-doped TiO2. The surface free energy obtained for this composite was 5.8?mN/m. Even when exposed to a weak fluorescent light intensity (100 lx) for 24 hours, the viable cells of gram-negative E. coli on the 12% N-doped TiO2-PTFE film were reduced 5 logs. The higher bactericidal activity was also confirmed on the gram-positive MRSA. Compared with the N-doped TiO2 coating only, the inactivation rate of the composite material was significantly enhanced. Utilizing the N-doped TiO2 with the PTFE composite coating could successfully remove, by UV illumination, oleic acid adsorbed on its surface. These results demonstrate the potential applicability of the novel N-doped TiO2 photocatalyst hydrophobic composite material for both indoor antibacterial action and outdoor contamination prevention. 1. Introduction It is well known that the conventional superhydrophobic surface offered by polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) provides no sterilization performance and is not sufficiently repellent against organic matters. Thus, there is potential risk for bacteria to adhere to its surface more readily in ambient air, as well as organic matters is considered to reduce the durability of the superhydrophobic performance. To remedy this shortcoming, anatase titanium dioxide (TiO2), a UV light-sensitive photocatalyst added water repellent composite material has been developed in our previous study [1–5]. TiO2 was used to demonstrate the inactivation of various bacteria, such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa), Legionella pneumophila (L. pneumophila) [6–8], and Clostridium difficile spores [8]. The inclusion of TiO2 to the PTFE coating is expected to generate antimicrobial and self-cleaning properties, which would expand its scope of application. Anatase TiO2-added PTFE composite material is not only water-repellent but also exhibits self-cleaning properties. However, because

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