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Synthetic Polymers for Simultaneous Bacterial Sequestration and Quorum Sense Interference


  • We thank the UK EPSRC and BBSRC (Grants EP/G042462/1, EP/D022347/1, D021847/1, and BB/F01855X/1) and the University of Nottingham, UK, for funding. We thank Bonnie Bassler (Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University) for the gift of V. harveyi strain MM32, Adrienne Davis and Shazhad Aslam (School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham) and Istvan Pelczer (Department of Chemistry, Princeton University) for help and useful discussions regarding 11B NMR spectroscopy, and Natalio Krasnogor, Leung Lui (School of Computer Sciences, University of Nottingham), and Chunjuan Liu (Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford) for helpful discussions.


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Double agents: Dual-action polymers are able to sequester rapidly the marine organism Vibrio harveyi from suspension, while at the same time quenching bacterial quorum sense (QS) signals (see picture). The potency of the polymers is assessed by cell aggregation experiments and competitive binding assays against a QS signal precursor, and their effect on bacterial behavior is shown by means of bioluminescence.