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Mechanism of bactericidal and fungicidal activities of textiles covalently modified with alkylated polyethylenimine†
Article first published online: 14 MAY 2003
Copyright © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Biotechnology and Bioengineering
Volume 83, Issue 2, pages 168–172, 20 July 2003
How to Cite
Lin, J., Qiu, S., Lewis, K. and Klibanov, A. M. (2003), Mechanism of bactericidal and fungicidal activities of textiles covalently modified with alkylated polyethylenimine. Biotechnol. Bioeng., 83: 168–172. doi: 10.1002/bit.10651
- Issue published online: 14 MAY 2003
- Article first published online: 14 MAY 2003
- Manuscript Accepted: 16 DEC 2002
- Manuscript Received: 13 NOV 2002
- U.S. Army Research Office (Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies at MIT)
- microbicidal materials;
- molecular weight of polymers
Our previous studies have led to a novel “nonrelease” approach to making materials bactericidal by covalently attaching certain moderately hydrophobic polycations to their surfaces. In the present work, this strategy is extended beyond the heretofore-used nonporous materials to include common woven textiles (cotton, wool, nylon, and polyester). Pieces of such cloths derivatized with N-hexylated+methylated high-molecular-weight polyethylenimine (PEI) are strongly bactericidal against several airborne Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. In contrast, the immobilized and N-alkylated PEIs of low molecular weight have only a weak, if any, bactericidal activity. These findings support a mechanism of the antibacterial action whereby high-molecular-weight and hydrophobic polycationic chains penetrate bacterial cell membranes/walls and fatally damage them. The bactericidal textiles prepared herein are lethal not only to pathogenic bacteria but to fungi as well. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Biotechnol Bioeng 83: 168–172, 2003.