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Elsevier Science

Biomaterials. 1992;13(12):857-62. doi: 10.1016/0142-9612(92)90179-r.

Antibacterial activity and mutagenicity studies of water-soluble phosphazene high polymers.


H R Allcock, S R Pucher, R J Fitzpatrick, K Rashid


  1. Department of Chemistry, Pennsylvania State University, University Park 16802.

PMID: 1457679 DOI: 10.1016/0142-9612(92)90179-r


Eight water-soluble phosphazene high polymers, [NPR2]n (R, organic, water-solubilizing side-group; n, approx: 15,000) and the small-molecule counterparts of the polymers were examined for antibacterial activity against six different strains of bacteria (Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium (TA 100), Salmonella pullorum, Streptococcus faecalis, Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas aeruginosa). Antibacterial testing was carried out by measuring zones of inhibition and changes in solution turbidity over time. In addition, the antibacterial activity of the surfaces of cross-linked poly[di(methoxyethoxyethoxy)phosphazene] (MEEP) hydrogels were investigated. A number of the high polymers, as well as the MEEP hydrogels, impeded bacterial growth. Only E. coli was unaffected by the phosphazenes. A possible explanation for the antibacterial character of the polymers is presented. The same compounds were monitored for potential mutagenic activity using the Salmonella typhimurium tester strains TA 100 and TA 98. None of the high polymers or their small-molecule analogues showed mutagenic activity in either strain of Salmonella at the concentrations tested. The use of these materials as coatings for artificial implants is discussed.

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