Biomaterials Translational ›› 2022, Vol. 3 ›› Issue (2): 162-171.doi: 10.12336/biomatertransl.2022.02.008

• RESEARCH ARTICLE • Previous Articles    

Antifouling and antimicrobial cobaltocenium-containing metallopolymer double-network hydrogels

Hui Li1,2, Peng Yang1, JiHyeon Hwang1, Parasmani Pageni1, Alan W. Decho3, Chuanbing Tang1,*()   

  1. 1 Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA
    2 School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Jinan, Jinan, Shandong Province, China
    3 Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA
  • Received:2022-04-07 Revised:2022-05-19 Accepted:2022-06-13 Online:2022-06-28 Published:2022-06-28
  • Contact: Chuanbing Tang E-mail:tang4@mailbox.sc.edu
  • About author:Chuanbing Tang, tang4@mailbox.sc.edu.
    First author contact:#Author Equally.


Compared with single-network hydrogels, double-network hydrogels offer higher mechanical strength and toughness. Integrating useful functions into double-network hydrogels can expand the portfolios of the hydrogels. We report the preparation of double-network metallopolymer hydrogels with remarkable hydration, antifouling, and antimicrobial properties. These cationic hydrogels are composed of a first network of cationic cobaltocenium polyelectrolytes and a second network of polyacrylamide, all prepared via radical polymerization. Antibiotics were further installed into the hydrogels via ion-complexation with metal cations. These hydrogels exhibited significantly enhanced hydration, compared with polyacrylamide-based hydrogels, while featuring robust mechanical strength. Cationic metallopolymer hydrogels exhibited strong antifouling against oppositely charged proteins. These antibiotic-loaded hydrogels demonstrated a synergistic effect on the inhibition of bacterial growth and antifouling of bacteria, as a result of the unique ion complexation of cobaltocenium cations.

Key words: antimicrobial, cobaltocenium, double network hydrogel, metallopolymer