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Surface Grafted Antimicrobial Polymer Networks with High Abrasion Resistance

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journal contribution
posted on 30.05.2016, 00:00 authored by Jing Gao, N. Eric Huddleston, Evan M. White, Jitendra Pant, Hitesh Handa, Jason Locklin
In this work, we have investigated a quaternary ammonium compound that exhibits excellent antimicrobial activity and can be permanently grafted to substrates containing C–H bonds to form a durable polymeric film within 1 min. The compound consists of a biocidal component, dodecyl-alkylated quaternary ammonium, and a benzophenone moiety that, under mild UV irradiation, generates a densely cross-linked network and covalently attaches to a variety of substrates, including plastics, fabrics, and alkyl-modified glass surfaces. The surface attachment is 1 order of magnitude faster than that of previously reported benzophenone-associated cross-linkers, due to the electron-withdrawing effect of quaternary ammonium on the benzophenone chromophore. The modified surfaces are nonleaching and exhibit contact-killing and highly effective antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus (Gram-positive) and Escherichia coli (Gram-negative) using cell count and live/dead staining methods. The charged ammonium group also promotes photoreaction efficiency with respect to network robustness, leading to a thin film that can sustain high shear forces and abrasion when compared to commercially available silane-based quaternary ammonium compounds. The biocidal activity is also retained after exposure to mechanical stress and abrasion.