Synthesis, thermal and surface activity of cationic single chain metal hybrid surfactants and their interaction with microbes and proteins†
A series of water-soluble metal functionalized surfactants have been prepared using commercially available surfactant cetyl pyridinium chloride and transition metal salts. These complexes were characterized in the solid state by elemental analysis, FTIR, 1H NMR and thermogravimetric analysis. The interfacial surface activity and aggregation behaviour of the metallosurfactants were analysed through conductivity, surface tension and small angle neutron scattering measurements. Our results show that the presence of metal ions as co-ions along with counter ions favours micellization at a low critical micellization concentration (CMC). Small angle neutron scattering revealed that the metallomicelles are of a prolate ellipsoidal shape and exhibit strong counterion binding. This article further describes the interaction of the metallosurfactants with transport protein Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) using different spectroscopic techniques. A spectroscopic study was used to study the binding, interaction and quenching mechanism of BSA with the metallosurfactants. Gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and circular dichroism (CD) investigated the structural and conformational changes produced in BSA due to the metallosurfactants. The results indicate that there is an alteration in the secondary structure of BSA due to the electrostatic interaction between positive head groups and metal co-ions of the metallosurfactants and negatively charged amino acids of BSA. As the concentration increases, the α-helicity of BSA decreases and all the three studied metallosurfactants gave comparable results. Finally, the in vitro cytotoxicity and antimicrobial activity of the metallosurfactants were evaluated against erythrocytes and microorganisms, which showed prominent effects related to the presence of a metal ion in metallomicelles of the hybrid surfactants.