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Durham University

Department of Biosciences


Publication details for Dr Gary Sharples

Joubert, Fanny, Yeo, R. Paul, Sharples, Gary J., Musa, Osama M., Hodgson, David R. W. & Cameron, Neil R. (2015). Preparation of an antibacterial poly(ionic liquid) graft copolymer of hydroxyethyl cellulose. Biomacromolecules 16(12): 3970-3979.

Author(s) from Durham


Poly(ionic liquid)s (P(IL)s) of different degrees of polymerisation (10, 50 and 100) were prepared via RAFT polymerisation using an alkyne-terminated xanthate as transfer agent, with a monomer conversion of up to ~80% and a ƉM of 1.5 for P(IL)100. Subsequently, P(IL) chains were coupled to 15N-labelled azido-functionalized HEC, forming graft copolymers of HEC with different chain length and graft densities which were characterised using (13C and 15N) CP-MAS NMR and FT-IR spectroscopies. The antibacterial activities of HEC-g-P(IL)s were tested against E. coli and S. aureus and were comparable to ampicillin, a well-known antibiotic, demonstrating efficient activity of the graft copolymers against bacteria. Moreover, HEC-g-P(IL)s were slightly more effective against E. coli than S. aureus. A decrease in graft density of P(IL)10 on the HEC backbone decreased the activity of the graft copolymers against both bacteria. These findings suggest that HEC-g-P(IL) could find applications as an antiseptic compound, for example in paint formulation.