Final Report: A Universal Technique for Antimicrobial Surface Preparation Using Quaternary Ammonium-Functionalized Dendrimers

EPA Contract Number: 68D02030
Title: A Universal Technique for Antimicrobial Surface Preparation Using Quaternary Ammonium-Functionalized Dendrimers
Investigators: Krause, Wendy E.
Small Business: Lynntech Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: April 1, 2002 through September 1, 2002
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2002) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Pollution Prevention , Nanotechnology , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , SBIR - Nanotechnology , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


A novel, environmentally benign, antimicrobial surface modification based on immobilized quaternary ammonium functionalized dendrimers (QAFDs) was developed. Dendrimers are unique nanomaterials that have attracted attention as possible antimicrobial agents due to their compact structure, high local charge density of functional surface groups, unique carrier properties, and biofriendly nature. High local concentrations of active groups are extremely beneficial in terms of potency, reduced toxicity, and increased duration of action. Because the antimicrobial surface modification can be applied to glass as well as a variety of plastics preformed into complex shapes, its use is virtually unlimited. This technology could be used in in situ soil and other monitors as well as dental and other water lines to form antimicrobial fabrics, to treat medical devices, to produce heavy metal-free anti-fouling coatings, in water filtration and other membranes, for glove and respirator materials, and in biowarfare defense. Many consumer products could result from this technology, especially in the medical and food and beverage preparation and packaging industries.

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

A novel series of QAFDs was synthesized, characterized, and immobilized onto glass and modified polymer surfaces. To immobilize the QAFDs onto polymeric substrates, a surface modification that can be covalently attached to a variety of polymers on either or both of the inner and outer surfaces of complex geometries was developed. Surfaces with immobilized QAFDs were biocidal. Some of the QAFD-modified surfaces exhibited nearly a 4-log10 reduction in the challenge microorganisms (complete kills). Moreover, these surfaces maintained significant biocidal properties after 5 days of storage in water.


New, powerful antimicrobial surfaces specifically designed for long-term biofilm prevention were developed by Lynntech, Inc., through this Phase I research project. These surfaces are based on the electrostatic immobilization of novel QAFDs. The impressive biocidal properties of the QAFD-modified surface were evaluated, and should lead to the incorporation of these surfaces into in situ soil and other monitors, medical devices, dental and other water lines, and water filtration and other membranes.

Supplemental Keywords:

antimicrobial dendrimers, quaternary ammonium functionalized dendrimers, QFAD, biofilm prevention, nosocomial infection prevention, surface modification, nanotechnology, SBIR., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Analytical Chemistry, New/Innovative technologies, Chemistry and Materials Science, Environmental Engineering, detoxification, dendrimers, quaternary ammonium functionalized dendrimers, biowarfare defense, antimicrobial surface preparation, nanotechnology, environmental sustainability, engineering, environmentally applicable nanoparticles, innovative technology, biocides, innovative technologies