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Issue 4, 2017
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“Leaching or not leaching”: an alternative approach to antimicrobial materials via copolymers containing crown ethers as active groups

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Abstract

In this work, new copolymers containing either MMA and 18C6 crown-ether pendants, or PEG, MMA and 18C6 crown-ether pendants were synthesized to test the idea that sequestering structural alkali-earth ions from the bacterial outer membrane (OM) may lead to bacterial death. The copolymers were obtained either via uncontrolled radical polymerization or ATRP; the latter approached allowed us to produce not only linear copolymers but also branched Y-like structures. After checking for the capability of complexing magnesium and calcium ions, the antimicrobial activity of all copolymers was tested placing their casted plaques in contact with pure water E. coli suspensions. All plaques adsorbed alkali-earth ions and killed bacteria, albeit with different antimicrobial efficiencies. Differences in the latter characteristic were attributed to different plaque roughness. The role of the 18C6 crown-ether pendants was elucidated by pre-saturating plaques with Mg/Ca ions, the marked reduction in antimicrobial efficiency indicating that losing the latter from OM due to surface complexation does play an important role in killing bacteria at short (<5 h) contact times. At longer times, the mode of action is instead related to the poly-cationic nature acquired by the plaques due to ion sequestering.

Graphical abstract: “Leaching or not leaching”: an alternative approach to antimicrobial materials via copolymers containing crown ethers as active groups

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Publication details

The article was received on 28 Dec 2016, accepted on 15 Feb 2017 and first published on 01 Mar 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6BM00950F
Citation: Biomater. Sci., 2017,5, 741-751
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    “Leaching or not leaching”: an alternative approach to antimicrobial materials via copolymers containing crown ethers as active groups

    M. De Rosa, G. Vigliotta, A. Soriente, V. Capaccio, G. Gorrasi, R. Adami, E. Reverchon, M. Mella and L. Izzo, Biomater. Sci., 2017, 5, 741
    DOI: 10.1039/C6BM00950F

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