Antimicrobial Polymers against Biofilms

  • Author:
  • Published: 19 May 2017
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
  • Source / Publisher: Advanced Healthcare Materials/Wiley-VCH
thumbnail image: Antimicrobial Polymers against Biofilms

The resistance of bacteria against antibiotic drugs is a growing problem. Multidrug-resistant pathogens, in particular, are a serious danger to human health. New antimicrobial compounds need to be developed to keep these bacteria in check. In addition, bacteria often form biofilms, in which the bacteria stick together – and to surfaces – and are harder to treat.

Yi Yan Yang, Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, Singapore, James L. Hedrick, IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, CA, USA, and colleagues have developed an antimicrobial polymer which inhibits biofilm growth and can destroy existing biofilms. Macromolecular antimicrobials are less likely to cause resistances, since they do not attack molecular targets in the bacteria, but rather destabilize the cell membranes. The team used ring-opening polymerization (ROP) to synthesize a polycarbonate from 6-methyl-1,3,6-dioxazocan-2-one monomers. The amine groups in the polymer were then quarternized using methyl iodide to give a cationic polymer (pictured).

The team tested the polymer's effectiveness against the pathogens Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida albicans. The polymer quickly kills these bacteria and fungi while being non-toxic to both mouse and human cells. The compound also disperses biofilms. According to the researchers, the broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity and low toxicity show the polymer's promise for treating a range of bacterial infections.


Article Views: 2371

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from, please contact us first for permission. more

CONNECT: on Facebook on Twitter on YouTube on LinkedIn Sign up for our free newsletter

Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies)published by Wiley-VCH