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Microbiology. 2005 May;151(Pt 5):1341-8.

Evidence of a charge-density threshold for optimum efficiency of biocidal cationic surfaces.

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Laboratoire de Physico Chimie Curie, Institut Curie, Section de Recherche, 11 rue Pierre et Marie Curie, 75005 Paris, France.


The deposition of organic monolayers containing quaternary ammonium groups has been shown by many authors to confer biocidal properties on a large variety of solid surfaces. In a search for the controlling factors, the authors have grafted quaternized poly(vinylpyridine) chains on glass surfaces by two different methods and varied the charge density within the organic layer between 10(12) and 10(16) positive charges per cm2. The measurements show that this parameter has a large influence on the killing efficiency. Bacterial death occurs in less than 10 min in the quiescent state above a threshold value. The value is smaller for bacteria in the growth state. It also depends on the bacterial type. An electrostatic mechanism based on the exchange of counterions between the functionalized cationic surface and the bacterial membrane is proposed and appears consistent with the results.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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