Antibacterial activity and mutagenicity studies of water-soluble phosphazene high polymers

Harry R. Allcock, Shawn R. Pucher, Richard J. Fitzpatrick, Kamal Rashid

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43 Scopus citations


Eight water-soluble phosphazene high polymers, [NPR2]n (R, organic, water-solubilizing side-group; n, approx: 15 000) and the small-molecule counterparts of the polymers were examined for antibacterial activity against six different strains of bacteria (Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium (TA 100), Salmonella pullorum, Streptococcus faecalis. Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa). Antibacterial testing was carried out by measuring zones of inhibition and changes in solution turbidity over time. In addition, the antibacterial activity of the surfaces of cross-linked poly[di(methoxyethoxyethoxy)phosphazene] (MEEP) hydrogels were investigated. A number of the high polymers, as well as the MEEP hydrogels, impeded bacterial growth. Only E. coli was unaffected by the phosphazenes. A possible explanation for the antibacterial character of the polymers is presented. The same compounds were monitored for potential mutagenic activity using the Salmonella typhimurium tester strains TA 100 and TA 98. None of the high polymers or their small-molecule analogues showed mutagenic activity in either strain of Salmonella at the concentrations tested. The use of these materials as coatings for artificial implants is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)857-862
Number of pages6
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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