Bacteria infections and related biofilms growth on surfaces of medical devices are a serious threat to human health. Controlled hyperthermia caused by photothermal effects can be used to kill bacteria and counteract biofilms formation. Embedding of plasmonic nano-objects like gold nanostars (GNS), able to give an intense photothermal effect when irradiated in the NIR, can be a smart way to functionalize a transparent and biocompatible material like polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). This process enables bacteria destruction on surfaces of PDMS-made medical surfaces, an action which, in principle, can also be exploited in subcutaneous devices. We prepared stable and reproducible thin PDMS films containing controllable quantities of GNS, enabling a temperature increase that can reach more than 40 degrees. The hyperthermia exerted by this hybrid material generates an effective thermal microbicidal effect, killing bacteria with a near infrared (NIR) laser source with irradiance values that are safe for skin.
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