2011-039 – Conjugated Polyelectrolytes with Variable Chain Lengths: Complexation with Oppositely Charged Compounds and Biocidal Activity


The physical and photophysical properties of conjugated polymers and conjugated polyelectrolytes have often been subject of investigation. Oftentimes, these compounds are synthetically prepared without rigorous control of the polymer chain’s length, and the macromolecules used in the synthesis may be from a mixture of molecules with a wide range of molecular weights. Such a synthesis technique can be problematic, as it is inaccurate and allows for a great degree of molecular variation. A synthesis technique that allows for precise control of the polymer chain’s length and results in the generation of a pool of molecules having similar molecular weights is desirable, as well as beneficial for wide range of applications.

Technology Description
Researchers at the University of New Mexico and University of Florida have developed a method of synthesizing conjugated polyelectrolytes (CPEs) with six different chain lengths. These synthesized compounds were created from precursors with controlled and similar molecular weights. These polymers have also shown significant biocidal activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria while under UV light. Given these traits, these compounds can be used in a wide variety of applications and may be effective in a variety of new anti-bacterial treatment methods.


  • A method of synthesizing compounds with substantial biocidal activity
  • May be used against Gram-positive or Gram-negative bacteria
  • Biocidal activity can be controlled by the absence or presence of light
  • Compounds can be synthesized with different polymer chain lengths
  • The precursors of these compounds can be controlled, resulting in the selection of precursors with similar and identifiable molecular weights

Potential Applications

  • Antiviral
  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Biosensing
    • DNA Detection
  • Biocides
  • Disinfectant

Contact Information

Name: Gregg Banninger

Email: GBanninger@innovations.unm.edu

Phone: 505-272-7908