Synthesis and biocidal efficacy of self-spreading polydimethylsiloxane oligomers possessing oxyethylene-functionalized quaternary ammoniums


  • This article is a US Government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United State of America.


In an effort to develop a more versatile creeping biocide that is capable of self-spreading and self-decontaminating of pathogenic bacteria, we report the development of two new homologous series of hybrid PDMS molecules. These oligomers were synthesized with terminal quaternary ammonium functionalities bearing variable length oxyethylene moieties. It is shown that the ionic interaction of the ammonium groups with the surface onto which it spreads can be tempered by the oxyethylene segments through close association of the polar chains with the cationic centers within the hydrophobic PDMS environment, thereby promoting self-spreading of the molecule. Once the compounds spread to a humid environment, the oxyethylene chains “blossom” and subsequently expose the biocidal centers, at which point, function as broad spectrum versatile antimicrobials. While biological evaluation showed antimicrobial activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria for all samples, one series was found to be much more effective due to lower steric hindrance surrounding the biocidal cationic termini. However, this increased exposure of the cationic center also altered the physical properties of the compounds except those isolated as a waxy solid. Self-spreading abilities with increasing oxyethylene chain length correlating to a decreasing spread rate. The decontaminating ability of the two most active compounds was demonstrated by allowing samples to spread to pools of water contaminated with S. aureus, yielding log reductions as high as 5.7 in less than two hours without external influences. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2009