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Open AccessArticle

Tough Polyelectrolyte Hydrogels with Antimicrobial Property via Incorporation of Natural Multivalent Phytic Acid

by Hoang Linh Bui 1 and Chun-Jen Huang 1,2,3,*
1
Department of Biomedical Sciences and Engineering, National Central University, Taoyuan 32023, Taiwan
2
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, National Central University, Taoyuan 32023, Taiwan
3
R&D Center for Membrane Technology, Chung Yuan Christian University, Taoyuan 32023, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1721; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101721
Received: 26 September 2019 / Revised: 14 October 2019 / Accepted: 16 October 2019 / Published: 21 October 2019
Tough and antimicrobial dual-crosslinked poly((trimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate chloride)-phytic acid hydrogel (pTMAEMA-PA) has been synthesized by adding a chemical crosslinker and docking a physical crosslinker of multivalent phytic acid into a cationic polyelectrolyte network. By increasing the loading concentration of PA, the tough hydrogel exhibits compressive stress of >1 MPa, along with high elasticity and fatigue-resistant properties. The enhanced mechanical properties of pTMAEMA-PA stem from the multivalent ion effect of PA via the formation of ion bridges within polyelectrolytes. In addition, a comparative study for a series of pTMAEMA-counterion complexes was conducted to elaborate the relationship between swelling ratio and mechanical strength. The study also revealed secondary factors, such as ion valency, ion specificity and hydrogen bond formation, holding crucial roles in tuning mechanical properties of the polyelectrolyte hydrogel. Furthermore, in bacteria attachment and disk diffusion tests, pTMAEMA-PA exhibits superior fouling resistance and antibacterial capability. The results reflect the fact that PA enables chelating strongly with divalent metal ions, hence, disrupting the outer membrane of bacteria, as well as dysfunction of organelles, DNA and protein. Overall, the work demonstrated a novel strategy for preparation of tough polyelectrolyte with antibacterial capability via docking PA to open up the potential use of PA in medical application. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyelectrolyte; quaternary ammonium; phytic acid; multivalent ion effect; ion bridges; specific ion effect polyelectrolyte; quaternary ammonium; phytic acid; multivalent ion effect; ion bridges; specific ion effect
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bui, H.L.; Huang, C.-J. Tough Polyelectrolyte Hydrogels with Antimicrobial Property via Incorporation of Natural Multivalent Phytic Acid. Polymers 2019, 11, 1721.

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