Biomimetic design of amphiphilic polycations and surface grafting onto polycarbonate urethane film as effective antibacterial agents with controlled hemocompatibility


The synthetic polycations are ideal candidates as antimicrobial agents, because they resemble natural antimicrobial peptides, but to render hemocompatibility to these materials is a great challenge. Herein, we used 2-(tert-butyl-aminoethyl) methacrylate (TBAEMA), to synthesize its homopolymer and pegylated random and diblock copolymers with polyethyleneglycol methacrylate (PEGMA, Mn = 360 Da) by single-electron transfer–living radical polymerization (SET-LRP). In the second step, the secondary amino groups in the precursor polymers were quaternized with iodomethane and bromohexane, to obtain three series of quaternized polymers. The antimicrobial properties of these quaternized polymers were evaluated against Escherichia coli (E. coli), by studying the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) which ranged between 32 and 200 mg L−1 and showed higher values for the quaternized random than the diblock copolymers. In addition to, we have also demonstrated the grafting of these polycations onto polycarbonate urethane film surfaces, which showed good killing efficacy against E. coli. Furthermore, the hemolysis of these materials was investigated against human red blood cells, which indicated that except the quaternized homopolymers that showed highest hemolysis, all other amphiphilic polycations exhibited very low hemolytic activity. Therefore, our designed materials with controlled structures and functionality, synthesized from cheaply available resources could serve as useful agents in the field of biomedicines and implantable materials.
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