Nanoarchitectonics of Electrically Activable Phosphonium Self-Assembled Monolayers to Efficiently Kill and Tackle Bacterial Infections on Demand

  • Carrara Serena
  • Rouvier Florent
  • Auditto Sanjana
  • Brunel Frédéric
  • Jeanneau Charlotte
  • Camplo Michel
  • Sergent Michelle
  • About Imad
  • Bolla Jean-Michel
  • Raimundo Jean-Manuel

  • Phosphoniums
  • Self-assembled monolayers
  • Biocidal effect
  • Electroactivation
  • Responsive surfaces


Prosthetic implants are widely used in dentistry and orthopedics and, as a result, infections can occur which cause their removal. Therefore, it is essential to propose methods of eradicating the bacteria that remain on the prosthesis during treatment. For this purpose, it is necessary to develop surfaces whose antibacterial activity can be controlled. Herein, we designed innovative and smart phosphonium self-assembled monolayer (SAM) interfaces that can be electrically activated on demand for controlling bacterial contaminations on solid surfaces. Upon electroactivation with a low potential (0.2 V for 60 min., conditions determined through a DOE), a successful stamping out of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial strains was obtained with SAM-modified titanium surfaces, effectively killing 95% of Staphylococcus aureus and 90% Klebsiellapneumoniae. More importantly, no toxicity towards eukaryotic cells was observed which further enhances the biocompatible character of these novel surfaces for further implementation.