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Amplified antimicrobial action of chlorhexidine encapsulated in PDAC-functionalized acrylate copolymer nanogel carriers

Al-Awady, Mohammed J.; Weldrick, Paul J.; Hardman, Matthew J.; Greenway, Gillian M.; Paunov, Vesselin N.


Mohammed J. Al-Awady

Paul J. Weldrick

Gillian M. Greenway

Vesselin N. Paunov


We have developed and tested a novel functionalised nanocarrier for chlorhexidine (CHX) which provides a very strong enhancement of its antimicrobial action. The nanocarrier was based on lightly-cross-linked acrylate copolymer nanogel particles loaded with CHX followed by a surface functionalisation with the cationic polyelectrolyte poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride (PDAC). We explored the antimicrobial effect of the PDAC-coated CHX-loaded nanogel carriers on E. coli, S. auresus, C. cerevisiae and C. reinhardtii and discovered that it is much higher than that of solution with equivalent overall concentration of free CHX. Our experiments also showed a marked increase of the cationic CHX-loaded nanocarriers antimicrobial action on these microorganisms at shorter incubation times compared with the non-coated CHX-loaded nanogel particles at the same CHX concentration and other conditions. We attribute the increase in the antimicrobial activity of the cationically-functionalised nanogel carrier to its electrostatic adhesion to the microbial cells walls which allows much higher CHX concentration to be delivered directly onto the cell surface. The results of this study can be used for development of novel more efficient antialgal, antifungal and antbacterial formulations based on cationically functionalised nanogels. Our method can also be used for boosting the effect of other cationic antimicrobial agents by encapsulating them in cationically-functionalised nanogel carriers. This nanotechnological approach could lead to developing more effective antimicrobial and disinfecting agents, dental formulations for plaque control, wound dressings, antialgal/antibiofouling formulations and novel antifungal agents.


Al-Awady, M. J., Weldrick, P. J., Hardman, M. J., Greenway, G. M., & Paunov, V. N. (2018). Amplified antimicrobial action of chlorhexidine encapsulated in PDAC-functionalized acrylate copolymer nanogel carriers. Materials Chemistry Frontiers, 2(11), 2032-2044.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 7, 2018
Online Publication Date Sep 17, 2018
Publication Date Sep 17, 2018
Deposit Date Oct 26, 2018
Publicly Available Date Sep 18, 2019
Journal Materials Chemistry Frontiers
Print ISSN 2052-1537
Electronic ISSN 2052-1537
Publisher Royal Society of Chemistry
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 11
Pages 2032-2044
Public URL
Publisher URL!divAbstract
Additional Information : This document is Similarity Check deposited; : Mohammed J. Al-Awady (ORCID); : Mohammed J. Al-Awady (ResearcherID); : Paul J. Weldrick (ORCID); : Paul J. Weldrick (ResearcherID); : Matthew J. Hardman (ORCID); : Gillian M. Greenway (ORCID); : Vesselin N. Paunov (ORCID); : Vesselin N. Paunov (ResearcherID); : Single-blind; : Received 13 July 2018; Accepted 7 September 2018; Advance Article published 17 September 2018; Version of Record published 25 October 2018