Polyethylene compounds with antimicrobial surface properties

Gerhard Seyfriedsberger, K Rametsteiner, Wolfgang Kern*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study aims at antimicrobial polyethylene surfaces. To achieve this, LLDPE was compounded with the polymeric biocide poly(2-tert-butylaminoethyl) methacrylate TBAM (bulk modification with 1.5–5.0 wt.% of TBAM). Surfaces of these polymer compounds were then subjected to microbial assays. Using standard methods the colony forming units (CFU) for Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus were determined on these surfaces. In all cases, polyethylene surfaces with highly antimicrobial properties were achieved. An average reduction of 104 CFU ml−1 compared to neat LLDPE was achieved. The surfaces of these LLDPE/TBAM compounds were assessed by electrokinetic (zeta potential) measurements. The results indicate a relation between the antimicrobial activity and the zeta-potential of the polymer compounds. Moreover, the antimicrobial compounds were investigated towards biofilm formation. Compared to pristine LLDPE, the surfaces of the polymer compounds showed less adhering biofilm after a testing period of 16 weeks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3383-3389
JournalEuropean Polymer Journal
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Cite this