Dual functional ionic liquids as plasticisers and antimicrobial agents for medical polymers

Seong Ying Choi, Hector Rodriguez Martinez, A. Mirjafari, Deirdre Gilpin, Stephanie McGrath, Karl Malcolm, Michael Tunney, Robin Rogers, Tony McNally

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Contamination of medical devices with bacteria such as Meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is of great clinical concern. Poly(vinyl chloride) is widely used in the production of medical devices, such as catheters. The flexibility of catheter tubing is derived from the addition of plasticisers. Here, we report the design of two dual functional ionic liquids, 1-ethylpyridinium docusate and tributyl(2-hydroxyethyl)phosphonium docusate, which uniquely provide a plasticising effect, and exhibit antimicrobial and antibiofilm-forming activity to a range of antibiotic resistant bacteria. The plasticisation of poly(vinyl chloride) was tailored as a function of ionic liquid concentration. The effective antimicrobial behaviour of both ionic liquids originates from the chemical structure of the anion or cation and is not limited to the length of the alkyl chain on the anion/cation. The design approach adopted will be useful in developing ionic liquids as multi-functional additives for polymers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1527-1535
Number of pages9
JournalGreen Chemistry
Issue number6
Early online date11 Apr 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution


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