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Curr Top Med Chem. 2015;15(13):1179-95.

Cationic polymers and their self-assembly for antibacterial applications.

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Nucleic Acids Research Laboratory, CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Mall Road, Delhi -110 007, India.


The present article focuses on the amphiphilic cationic polymers as antibacterial agents. These polymers undergo self-assembly in aqueous conditions and impart biological activity by efficiently interacting with the bacterial cell wall, hence, used in preparing chemical disinfectants and biocides. Both cationic charge as well as hydrophobic segments facilitate interactions with the bacterial cell surface and initiate its disruption. The perturbation in transmembrane potential causes leakage of cytosolic contents followed by cell death. Out of two categories of macromolecules, peptide oligomers and cationic polymers, which have extensively been used as antibacterials, we have elaborated on the current advances made in the area of cationic polymer-based (naturally occurring and commonly employed synthetic polymers and their modified analogs) antibacterial agents. The development of polymer-based antibacterials has helped in addressing challenges posed by the drug-resistant bacterial infections. These polymers provide a new platform to combat such infections in the most efficient manner. This review presents concise discussion on the amphiphilic cationic polymers and their modified analogs having low hemolytic activity and excellent antibacterial activity against array of fungi, bacteria and other microorganisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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