Antimicrobial activity of statistical polymethacrylic sulfopropylbetaines against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria

M Ward
M Sanchez
MO Elasri
AB Lowe


A series of statistical copolymers derived from 2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate with four different hydrophobic comonomers (ethyl, butyl, cyclohexyl, and octyl methacrylates) have been prepared via conventional free radical copolymerization under bulk conditions. The copolymers have been subsequently modified, with 1,3-propanesultone to yield the corresponding polysulfoproylbetaine derivatives. Those copolymers exhibiting the requisite aqueous solubility have been screened with respect to their antimicrobial activity against two common and notorious pathogens, namely Staphylococciis aureus (S. aureus) and Escherichia coli (E. coli). We show that certain copolymers do indeed exhibit antimicrobial activity. The extent of activity is related to the molecular characteristics of the materials such as the molar composition and structure of the hydrophobic comonomer. (c) 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.