An N-halamine-based rechargeable antimicrobial and biofilm controlling polyurethane

Xinbo Sun, Zhengbing Cao, Nuala Porteous, Yuyu Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


An N-halamine precursor, 5,5-dimethylhydantoin (DMH), was covalently linked to the surface of polyurethane (PU) with 1,6-hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) as the coupling agent. The reaction pathways were investigated using propyl isocyanate (PI) as a model compound. The results suggested that the imide and amide groups of DMH have very similar reactivities toward the isocyanate groups on PU surfaces activated with HDI. After bleach treatment the covalently bound DMH moieties were transformed into N-halamines. The new N-halamine-based PU provided potent antimicrobial effects against Staphylococcus aureus (Gram-positive bacterium), Escherichia coli (Gram-negative bacterium), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA, drug-resistant Gram-positive bacterium), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE, drug-resistant Gram-positive bacterium), and Candida albicans (fungus), and successfully prevented bacterial and fungal biofilm formation. The antimicrobial and biofilm controlling effects were stable for longer than 6 months under normal storage in open air. Furthermore, if the functions were lost due to prolonged use they could be recharged by another chlorination treatment. The recharging could be repeated as needed to achieve long-term protection against microbial contamination and biofilm formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1498-1506
Number of pages9
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimicrobial
  • Biofilm controlling
  • Chlorination
  • N-Halamine
  • Rechargeable

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology


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