Synergistic Co-Delivery of Membrane-Disrupting Polymers with Commercial Antibiotics against Highly Opportunistic Bacteria




A series of vitamin E-containing biodegradable antimicrobial cationic polycarbonates is designed and synthesized via controlled organocatalytic ring-opening polymerization. The incorporation of vitamin E significantly enhances antimicrobial activity. These polymers demonstrate broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against various microbes, e.g., S. aureus (Gram-positive), E-coli (Gram-negative) and C. albicans (fungi). More importantly, the co-delivery of such polymers with selected antibiotics (e.g., doxycycline) shows high synergism towards difficult-to-kill bacteria P. aeruginosa. These findings suggest that these vitamin E-functionalized polycarbonates are potentially useful antimicrobial agents against challenging bacterial/fungal infections.