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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2013 Jun 12;5(11):4555-61. doi: 10.1021/am400220s. Epub 2013 Mar 19.

Antimicrobial activity of cationic conjugated polyelectrolytes and oligomers against Saccharomyces cerevisiae vegetative cells and ascospores.

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Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering, Center for Biomedical Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131-1341, United States.


The antifungal activities of poly(phenylene ethynylene) (PPE)-based cationic conjugated polyelectrolytes (CPEs) and oligo-phenylene ethynylenes (OPEs) were investigated using Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae) as a model pathogen. The effect of the CPE and OPE materials on the vegetative cells and ascospores were tested in the dark or with UV-irradiation. A number of the tested polymers and oligomers significantly reduced the viability of the vegetative yeast cells in the dark, with activities exceeding the commonly used antibiotic Amphotericin B. With UV-irradiation, all of the tested CPEs and OPEs exhibited potent antifungal activities and completely inactivated the yeast cells. In particular, the oligomeric EO-OPE-1(Th, C2) strongly inactivates ascospores with UV-light at a dose level lower than sporicidal agents reported in the literature. Under conditions that promote spore germination, the CPEs and OPEs show efficient activities against the germinated spores. The protein-enriched outer envelope of yeast cells and germinated ascospores appears to serve as a main target for the CPE and OPE antimicrobial materials.

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