2012-009 – Efficacy of “End-Only” Functionalized Oligo(phenylene ethynylene)s in Killing Biofilm Bacteria


Bacterial biofilms are public health concerns due to their prevalence on all living and inanimate surfaces, and their relatively high resistance to antimicrobials. Biofilms are a basis for various infections in the body, such as middle-ear infections, formation of dental plaque, and infections related to indwelling medical devices. Although several techniques have been developed to prevent biofilm formation and to produce disinfection on surfaces, it is difficult to completely inhibit biofilm formation due to the physiological heterogeneity of bacteria in biofilms and their resistance to antibiotics. Two primary determinants of an antimicrobial agent’s bacterial inhibition and killing efficiency are (1) its minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), which is the concentration of antimicrobial required to inhibit growth of a planktonic bacterial population, and (2) its minimum biofilm eradication concentration (MBEC), which represents the concentration of an antimicrobial required to eradicate a bacterial biofilm. Furthermore, a high triplet yield is a leading determinant of an effective antimicrobial. There exists a pronounced market demand for new antimicrobials to prevent and eradicate biofilms. Ideally, these novel antimicrobials will possess a combination of effective MIC and MBEC, with a capacity for high triplet yield.

Technology Description

The invention provides methods and materials for decontamination of surfaces and fabrics, such as non-woven fabrics, that are contaminated with infestations of microorganisms such as bacteria. A composition of matter comprising a fibrous material having poly(phenylene ethynylene)-based cationic conjugated polyelectrolyes bonded thereto, the composition being prepared by contacting a fibrous material comprising a fiber-forming polymer having iodophenyl groups bonded thereto and a di-iodo reagent of formula.


  • Higher triplet yield, resulting in enhanced light-induced biocidal activity
  • Effective at killing biofilm in the dark at relatively low concentrations (MBEC)
  • Applicable in health care settings, mainly for products to prevent hospital acquired infections

Potential Applications

  • Decontamination
  • Disinfectant
  • Antimicrobial Treatments
  • Hospital Garments
  • Medical Devices
  • Filtration Systems
  • Surgical Instruments

Contact Information

Name: Gregg Banninger

Email: GBanninger@innovations.unm.edu

Phone: 505-272-7908