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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15(11), 20800-20832; doi:10.3390/ijms151120800

Antimicrobial Activity of Chitosan Derivatives Containing N-Quaternized Moieties in Its Backbone: A Review

Department of Chemistry, Universidade Estadual de Maringá (UEM), Av. Colombo, 5790, Maringá-PR 87020-900, Brazil
Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná (UTFPR)–Estrada para Boa Esperança, Dois Vizinhos, Paraná 85660-000, Brazil
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 September 2014 / Revised: 12 October 2014 / Accepted: 14 October 2014 / Published: 13 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobial Polymers)
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Chitosan, which is derived from a deacetylation reaction of chitin, has attractive antimicrobial activity. However, chitosan applications as a biocide are only effective in acidic medium due to its low solubility in neutral and basic conditions. Also, the positive charges carried by the protonated amine groups of chitosan (in acidic conditions) that are the driving force for its solubilization are also associated with its antimicrobial activity. Therefore, chemical modifications of chitosan are required to enhance its solubility and broaden the spectrum of its applications, including as biocide. Quaternization on the nitrogen atom of chitosan is the most used route to render water-soluble chitosan-derivatives, especially at physiological pH conditions. Recent reports in the literature demonstrate that such chitosan-derivatives present excellent antimicrobial activity due to permanent positive charge on nitrogen atoms side-bonded to the polymer backbone. This review presents some relevant work regarding the use of quaternized chitosan-derivatives obtained by different synthetic paths in applications as antimicrobial agents. View Full-Text
Keywords: chitosan; chitosan derivatives; quaternization; antimicrobial activity; antimicrobial mechanism chitosan; chitosan derivatives; quaternization; antimicrobial activity; antimicrobial mechanism

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Martins, A.F.; Facchi, S.P.; Follmann, H.D.M.; Pereira, A.G.B.; Rubira, A.F.; Muniz, E.C. Antimicrobial Activity of Chitosan Derivatives Containing N-Quaternized Moieties in Its Backbone: A Review. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 20800-20832.

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