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Intensifying the Antimicrobial Activity of Poly[2‑(tert-butylamino)ethyl Methacrylate]/Polylactide Composites by Tailoring Their Chemical and Physical Structures

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journal contribution
posted on 27.12.2018, 00:00 by Chih-Kuang Chen, Mong-Chuan Lee, Zheng-Ian Lin, Chun-An Lee, Yu-Chieh Tung, Ching-Wen Lou, Wing-Cheung Law, Nai-Tzu Chen, Kun-Yi Andrew Lin, Jia-Horng Lin
Poly­[2-(tert-butylaminoethyl) methacrylate] (PTA), an important class of antimicrobial polymers, has demonstrated its great biocidal efficiency, favorable nontoxicity, and versatile applicability. To further enhance its antimicrobial efficiency, an optimization of the chemical structure of PTA polymers is performed via atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) in terms of the antimicrobial ability against Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). After the optimization, the resulting PTA is blended into a polylactide (PLA) matrix to form PTA/PLA composite thin films. It is first found, that the antimicrobial efficiency of PTA/PLA composites was significantly enhanced by controlling the PLA crystallinity and the PLA spherulite size. A possible mechanistic route regarding this new finding has been rationally discussed. Lastly, the cytotoxicity and mechanical properties of a PTA/PLA composite thin film exhibiting the best biocidal effect are evaluated for assessing its potential as a new material for creating antimicrobial biomedical devices.