Browse Prior Art Database

Antimicrobial polymer compositions and methods of use thereof

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000132409D
Publication Date: 2005-Dec-13
Document File: 11 page(s) / 85K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Polymers having antimicrobial activity are disclosed. In particular, water-dispersible polymer compositions in which an antimicrobial agent is bound to the polymer ionically or covalently, rather than mixed with or deposited onto the polymer are disclosed. Polymers containing silver ions as antimicrobial agents can be prepared by the Hundsdecker reaction in which an alkali metal ion is exchanged for the silver ion. Also, ethylenically unsaturated monomers containing antimicrobial agents can be copolymerized with other monomers using free-radical polymerization for the preparation of polymers having antimicrobial activity. These antimicrobial polymers can be used in compositions such as coatings and molded articles, including overprint varnishes, inks, paints, floor polishes, and medical devices. Antimicrobial polymers disclosed here decrease the microbial loading of several types of common microorganisms on or in the polymer coating, molded article or the polymer solution by at least 95%.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 13% of the total text.

Page 1 of 11

Antimicrobial polymer compositions and methods of use thereof

Summary

Polymers having antimicrobial activity are disclosed. In particular, water-dispersible polymer compositions in which an antimicrobial agent is bound to the polymer ionically or covalently, rather than mixed with or deposited onto the polymer are disclosed. Polymers containing silver ions as antimicrobial agents can be prepared by the Hundsdecker reaction in which an alkali metal ion is exchanged for the silver ion. Also, ethylenically unsaturated monomers containing antimicrobial agents can be copolymerized with other monomers using free-radical polymerization for the preparation of polymers having antimicrobial activity. These antimicrobial polymers can be used in compositions such as coatings and molded articles, including overprint varnishes, inks, paints, floor polishes, and medical devices. Antimicrobial polymers disclosed here decrease the microbial loading of several types of common microorganisms on or in the polymer coating, molded article or the polymer solution by at least 95%.

Background

There is widespread interest in preventing and eradicating microbial contamination in many commercial and institutional settings. For example, in the food packaging and food preparation industries, it is important that packaging and other surfaces which come into contact with food be free of potentially hazardous microorganisms. Similarly, hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutional care settings require not only medical devices, but surfaces such as floors, countertops, sinks, and the like to be free of harmful microorganisms as well. To address these needs, a large number of polymeric coatings and products have been developed which incorporate various antimicrobial agents.

The present disclosure provides antimicrobial polymer compositions in which an antimicrobial agent is bound to a water-dispersible polymer. Such polymer compositions exhibit greater antimicrobial activity than the same polymer alone without the antimicrobial agent. Because the antimicrobial agent is bound to the polymer, e.g., ionically or covalently, relatively low levels of

Page 2 of 11

the agent are needed to impart effective antimicrobial activity. Moreover, unlike previous mixtures, suspensions, or colloids of antimicrobial agents (such as silver salts) in polymer compositions, leaching of the antimicrobial agent from compositions disclosed here is greatly retarded or even prevented. Hence, coatings and objects made with compositions disclosed here are expected to exhibit excellent antimicrobial activity over extended periods of time.

The present disclosure also provides methods of making compositions as described herein including binding the antimicrobial agent to the water-dispersible polymer. For example, in polymers including salts of carboxylate groups, the metal cation may be exchanged with an antimicrobial metal ion such as silver using the Hundsdecker reaction. In polymers wit...