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Mechanistic approaches on the antibacterial activity of poly(acrylic acid) copolymers.

Colloids and surfaces. B, Biointerfaces (2014-12-30)
Günther Gratzl, Sarah Walkner, Sabine Hild, Achim Walter Hassel, Hedda Katrin Weber, Christian Paulik
ABSTRACT

The availability of polymeric antimicrobially active surfaces, which are mainly based on cationic surface effects, is limited. We have previously reported the discovery that, in addition to cationic surfaces, anionic surfaces based on poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) copolymers have a bactericidal effect. In this study, poly(styrene)-poly(acrylic acid)-diblock copolymers (PS-b-PAA) are used to describe the major variables causing the material to have a bactericidal effect on Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 in aqueous suspensions. Upon contact with water, the surface structure of the copolymer changes, the pH value decreases, and the PAA-block migrates toward the surface. Systematically modified antimicrobial tests show that the presence of acid-form PAA provides maximum antimicrobial activity of the material in slightly acidic conditions, and that an ion-exchange effect is the most probable mechanism. Antimicrobially inactive counter-ions inhibit the bactericidal activity of the copolymers, but the material can be regenerated by treatment with acids.

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