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Issue 37, 2015
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Narrow band gap conjugated polyelectrolytes for photothermal killing of bacteria

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Abstract

We report the demonstration of antimicrobial conjugated polyelectrolytes (CPEs) with high NIR absorbance for selective and efficient photothermal killing of bacteria over mammalian cells. The antimicrobial CPE possessing quaternary ammonium (QA) terminated side chains (P1) shows higher binding preference and increased dark toxicity towards Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria over mammalian cells. Bestowed by π-conjugated backbones, P1 exhibits a high molar absorptivity of 39.8 L g−1 cm−1 at 808 nm with an efficient photothermal conversion efficiency of 33 ± 1%. Upon 808 nm laser irradiation, P1 shows enhanced bactericidal effects, but not to mammalian cells. Although the anionic CPE counterpart with the same polymer backbone but sulfonate terminated side chains (P2) possesses a similar photothermal conversion ability, it exhibits much lower antibacterial effects due to its low binding affinity. This study thus reveals that bacteria–CPE electrostatic interactions play a major role in bacterial recognition, although hydrophobic interactions also contribute.

Graphical abstract: Narrow band gap conjugated polyelectrolytes for photothermal killing of bacteria

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Publication details

The article was received on 11 Jun 2015, accepted on 01 Aug 2015 and first published on 06 Aug 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5TB01118C
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Citation: J. Mater. Chem. B, 2015,3, 7340-7346
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    Narrow band gap conjugated polyelectrolytes for photothermal killing of bacteria

    G. Feng, C. Mai, R. Zhan, G. C. Bazan and B. Liu, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2015, 3, 7340
    DOI: 10.1039/C5TB01118C

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