Evaluation of Antimicrobial Efficiency of New Polymers Comprised by Covalently Attached and/or Electrostatically Bound Bacteriostatic Species, Based on Quaternary Ammonium Compounds
In the present work a detailed study of new bacteriostatic copolymers with quaternized ammonium groups introduced in the polymer chain through covalent attachment or electrostatic interaction, was performed. Different copolymers have been considered since beside the active species, the hydrophobic/hydrophilic nature of the co-monomer was also evaluated in the case of covalently attached bacteriostatic groups, aiming at achieving permanent antibacterial activity. Homopolymers with quaternized
... onium/phosphonium groups were also tested for comparison reasons. The antimicrobial activity of the synthesized polymers after 3 and 24 h of exposure at 4 and 22˝C was investigated on cultures of Gram-negative (P. aeruginosa, E. coli) and Gram-positive (S. aureus, E. faecalis) bacteria. It was found that the combination of the hydrophilic monomer acrylic acid (AA), at low contents, with the covalently attached bacteriostatic group vinyl benzyl dimethylhexadecylammonium chloride (VBCHAM) in the copolymer P(AA-co-VBCHAM88), resulted in a high bacteriostatic activity against P. aeruginosa and E. faecalis (6 log reduction in certain cases). Moreover, the combination of covalently attached VBCHAM units with electrostatically bound cetyltrimethylammonium 4-styrene sulfonate (SSAmC 16 ) units in the P(SSAmC 16 -co-VBCHAMx) copolymers led to efficient antimicrobial materials, especially against Gram-positive bacteria, where a log reduction between 4.9 and 6.2 was verified. These materials remain remarkably efficient even when they are incorporated in polysulfone membranes.