Functional ferrocene polymer multilayer coatings for implantable medical devices: Biocompatible, antifouling, and ROS-sensitive controlled release of therapeutic drugs

Jiseob Woo, Yoonhee Na, Won Il Choi, Sunghyun Kim, Junsik Kim, Jinkee Hong, Daekyung Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Bacterial infections and the formation of biofilms on the surface of implantable medical devices are critical issues that cause device failure. Implantable medical devices, such as drug delivery technologies, offer promising benefits for targeted and prolonged drug release, but a number of common disadvantages arise that include inadequate release and side effects. Organic film coatings for antifouling and drug delivery are expected to overcome these challenges. Ferrocene polymer-based multifunctional multilayer films were prepared to control the reactive oxygen species (ROS)-responsive release of therapeutic agents while maintaining an antifouling effect and improving biocompatibility. Polymers based on ferrocene and polyethylene glycol were prepared by controlling the molar ratio of carboxylate and amine groups. Layer-by-layer deposition was optimized to achieve the linear growth and self-assembly of dense and stable films. Outstanding anti-biofilm activity (~91% decrease) could be achieved and the films were found to be blood compatible. Importantly, the films effectively incorporated hydrophobic drugs and exhibited dual-responsive drug release at low pH and under ROS conditions at physiological pH. Drug delivery to MCF-7 breast cancer cells was achieved using a Paclitaxel loaded film, which exhibited an anticancer efficacy of 62%. Statement of significance: Healthcare associated infection is caused by the formation of a biofilm by bacteria on the surface of a medical device. In order to solve this, extensive research has been conducted on many coating technologies. Also, a method of chemical treatment by releasing the drug when it enters the body by loading the drug into the coating film is being studied. However, there is still a lack of technology that can achieve both functions of preventing biofilm production and drug delivery. Therefore, in this study, a multilayer thin film that supports drug and inhibits biofilm formation was prepared through Layer-by-Layer coating of a polymer containing PEG to prevent adsorption. As such, it helps the design of multifunctional coatings for implantable medical devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-252
Number of pages11
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr 15

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (grant no. NRF-2018R1D1A1B07043620) and by ITECH R&D program of MOTIE/KEIT (project no. 20003728), and the grant of Korea Institute of Ceramic Engineering and Technology (KICET).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology


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