Charge Density Quantification and Antimicrobial Efficacy

Report No. ARL-TR-4530
Authors: Nicole Zander; Julia Leadore; Joshua A. Orlicki
Date/Pages: August 2008; 20 pages
Abstract: Emerging threats to soldiers on the battlefield include traditional dangers such as conventional weapons and chemical or biological warfare agents. A less obvious threat is represented by the growing numbers of serious bacterial and fungal infections. Reducing overall warfighter susceptibility to opportunistic infections would improve force readiness in all operational environments. The capability of a material to autonomously decontaminate in situ with an active additive is therefore highly desirable and may increase the warfighters safety and reduce the logistical burdens associated with decontamination operations. However, to maintain the critical performance characteristics of the coating or fabric, a minimal amount of active material is preferred, reducing the overall impact on bulk physical properties. Permanent, nonleaching antimicrobial surfaces were prepared by covalent attachment of polyelectrolytes to silane modified glass slides. The efficacy and mechanism of biological decontamination depend on the charge density, the length of the hydrophobic chain in the quaternary ammonium groups, and the molecular weight of the cationic polymer. Structure-activity relationships of linear polymers, as well as small molecules covalently attached to a glass substrate, were examined to determine structures that achieve maximum antimicrobial efficacy. Charge quantification was measured using UV-Vis spectroscopy with a sodium fluoroscein complexation method.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: August 1, 2008